Embezzlement is a crime that prosecutors and judges take very seriously. If they perceive that an executive or other individual betrayed the trust of his company or business partner to line his own pockets, they can be very unforgiving.
But embezzlement cases are often quite complex, involving not only complicated documents and ledgers but difficult financial questions as well.
If you have been charged with embezzlement, an experienced embezzlement defense attorney from Wilson & Reives is ready to help. We have decades of experience defending clients accused of embezzlement and other white-collar crimes. We’ll use our experience to help you fight the charges in court.
What are some examples of embezzlement?
Embezzlement cases often involve employees taking money or property from their employers or business partners. One example would be a payroll manager creating fictitious employees, issuing checks in their names and then cashing those checks and using the money. A purchasing agent could do the same thing, except he would create fictitious vendors instead of employees.
Caregivers, even if they are not paid employees, may also be charged with embezzlement. If an elderly woman gives her caregiver money to pay bills, the caregiver should use the money according to the woman’s wishes. It would be embezzlement if he used the money to buy an expensive watch or pay his own expenses instead.
There are many other examples of embezzlement:
• A store employee takes money from the cash register and avoids detection by using the register to process an unauthorized refund
• An employee falsifies her time report so she is paid overtime for hours she did not work
• An office manager takes money from her employer’s petty cash box and uses it for personal expenses
• A store clerk charges his customers the regular price for products that are supposed to be on sale. He keeps the difference between the regular price and sale price of each product
Commerce usually relies upon one party to a transaction placing trust in another party’s honesty. A client has to trust that the person he’s paying will use the money in the agreed-upon way, and a business has to trust that employees who handle the firm’s finances are directing the money appropriately.
if you’re accused of embezzlement, finding the right embezzlement defense attorney to represent you will be crucial if you are to demonstrate your innocence.
Elements of an embezzlement case
The prosecutor must prove several things for someone to be convicted of embezzlement.
• The accused must have been in a position of trust or responsible for the money in some way (for example, an accountant responsible for keeping company bank accounts balanced)
• The accused took, used, or hid the money/property without having permission from the owner
• The accused intended to permanently deprive the victim of his or her ownership of the money/property
Call (919) 775-5653 or contact us and set up a consultation to speak with one of our experienced embezzlement defense attorneys about your case.
Because the prosecutor has to prove three different things, having an experienced embezzlement attorney on your side can help you immensely. Your embezzlement attorney may be able to help you prove you had permission to use the money or that you were not responsible for the missing money or property.
How can an embezzlement attorney help you fight your charge?
An experienced embezzlement attorney can help you from the time you are charged until your case is closed. One of the most important reasons to hire an embezzlement attorney is to get help building a strong defense.
For an embezzlement charge, there are several possible defenses, including duress, lack of intent, and incapacity.
• Duress defense
This defense is used when someone commits a crime because they believe some type of harm will come to them if they do not participate. Your embezzlement attorney may recommend this defense if you only participated in the embezzlement because your boss threatened your job.
• Lack of intent
If you took someone else’s property, but you truly thought it belonged to you, lack of intent is a potential defense. Your embezzlement attorney can try to show that you did not intend to deprive the other person of money or property.
• Incapacity defense
This defense is used to show that you were mentally incapacitated at the time of the crime. Mental incapacitation makes a person unable to understand the nature and possible consequences of his or her actions. If you were mentally incapacitated because you were taking a new medication or had sustained a head injury, your embezzlement attorney may recommend this approach to your case.
How much does it cost to meet with an attorney?
It’s important to meet with an attorney as soon as possible after you are charged. At Wilson & Reives, your first meeting with one of our embezzlement defense attorneys will cover the costs and options available to you. We understand how important it is to discuss your situation and come up with a plan of action.
If you need help fighting an embezzlement charge, contact the attorneys at Wilson & Reives.