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When does a misappropriation of funds constitute embezzlement?

When does a misappropriation of funds constitute embezzlement?

| May 4, 2021 | Federal Criminal Defense

Employers often trust employees with considerable assets, especially those who hold executive positions. That trust comes with the responsibility of that there’s a proper use of funds. When there is a misappropriation of funds or assets, there’s a chance that a person can face embezzlement charges. 

State courts can address many of these charges, although some may fall under the federal court’s jurisdiction. The court that you’re going before can impact both your defense options and potential penalties, so be sure you check this if you’re facing charges.

How is embezzlement found?

An employer often discovers potential embezzlement in one of a few different ways, including:

  • The employer may notice that their finances don’t look right
  • An audit may uncover discrepancies
  • Client complaints may emerge warranting an investigation that sheds light on impropriety

Employers often call in investigators to analyze the situation once they note patterns of embezzlement. 

What do investigators look at when determining whether embezzlement occurred?

Investigators will often check for signs of intent when analyzing financial records. They often look for evidence of any fraudulent invoices and payments. If investigators note signs that an employee willfully misused the company’s assets, then prosecutors will likely charge them with embezzlement. 

What you should know if you’re facing embezzlement charges

A critical note about embezzlement charges is that an employee can face criminal charges and have their employer sue them civilly due to their engagement in this offense. The criminal case deals with breaking the law. A civil case is a victim’s attempt to recover their losses. 

Anyone who’s facing embezzlement charges should consult with an attorney. There’s often a lengthy paper trail with these cases. Getting your defense strategy started as early in the process as possible is critical when someone is accusing you of a white collar crime such as this. 

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