Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly withholding assets for the purpose of theft. More specifically, embezzlement is financial fraud, an example of this would be a financial advisor who embezzle the funds of his investors. The act of embezzlement is normally a premeditated act that is methodically performed since the embezzler needs to cover their tracks. In order to remain undetected, embezzlers might take small sums throughout the years. While embezzlement can be seen as a clear-cut case, the act of embezzlement can be broken down.
Breaking Down the Crime
In the U.S., embezzlement is a statutory offense and the definition of the crime of embezzlement varies according to the given statue. The criminal elements of embezzlement can range from fraudulent to Lawful possession. Here is the breakdown of each element:
- Fraudulence– This requires that the embezzler willfully, and without claim of right or mistake, converted the entrusted property to his or her own use.
- Criminal Conversion– Embezzlement is a crime against ownership, such as voiding the right of the owner to control the disposition and use of the property entrusted to them. Criminal conversion requires substantial interference with the property rights of the owner.
- Property– Embezzlement statues are written so that they do not limit the scope of the crime to conversions of personal property. The statues also include the conversion of tangible personal property, intangible personal property and choses in action. The exception is real property not being included, such as real estate or realty of any kind.
- Of Another– The embezzler does not have to be a second or third party individual(s). A person can also embezzle their own property. Reasons might include to hiding money from the government for tax reasons or giving money to an ex during divorce proceedings.
- Lawful Possession– A key element in an embezzlement case is that the embezzler had been in lawful possession of the property during the time of the fraudulent conversion. This helps differentiate the case from larceny, since larceny is if the thief merely had custody of the property.
Troy Embezzlement Lawyer
Entrusting your property to someone else should not mean that it gets stolen out from under you. If you have had your assets embezzled then it is time to hire a lawyer. At Garmo & Kiste, we have lawyers experienced in embezzlement cases to make sure you get the justice you deserve. For a free consultation, contact us at (248)398-7100.