Dedicated Scranton Criminal Defense Attorney
The Law Offices of William D. Thompson provides tenacious representation
to clients facing embezzlement charges. With 15 years of experience, our
Scranton criminal defense lawyer can guide you through the legal process.
We are committed to finding effective legal solutions for our clients.
If you have been charged with embezzlement or other
white collar crimes, we can provide knowledgeable representation for your case. Call our firm
today at (570) 666-1068 for efficient legal services.
Understanding Embezzlement Charges
Embezzlement is a type of white collar crime. It occurs when a person steals
money that was entrusted to them. Legally defined as larceny (or theft)
of assets by someone with responsibility over those assets, embezzlement
is often charged as a form of theft in Pennsylvania.
In order to prove embezzlement, prosecutors must show that:
- There was a fiduciary relationship between the parties
- The defendant acquired the assets through the fiduciary relationship
- The defendant stole, took ownership of, or transferred the assets to someone else
- The defendant’s actions were willful and intentional
A fiduciary relationship basically means one person has a legal responsibility
to handle the assets of other parties. Thus, embezzlement at its core
is a betrayal of someone’s trust. Accounting embezzlement, one of
the most common forms of the crime, happens when a person uses false information
in accounting records to hide the theft of assets.
How Embezzlement Works
Embezzlement is common in corporate and business entities. Employees are
often trusted with managing, monitoring, and using the assets for their
employers’ interests. However, when an employee keeps some of the
assets for personal use and covers up the theft, the employer may press
embezzlement charges. Embezzlement may occur in one large transfer of
money, or in small misappropriations over a period of months or years.
Methods commonly used to embezzle assets include:
- Falsifying records
- Sending payroll checks to nonexistent employees
- Using Ponzi schemes or other financial fraud schemes
- Using fraudulent billing
Embezzlement can also occur in legal and investment fields. Lawyers who
misappropriate client funds commit embezzlement, and so do investment
advisors who improperly use client funds. In the state of Pennsylvania,
embezzlement can lead to severe penalties. If the value of the stolen
assets is over $2,000, it counts as a third-degree felony. If the value
is more than $100,000, it counts as a second-degree felony, and if the
value is more than $500,000, it counts as a first-degree felony. Convictions
often carry prison sentences with a minimum of 7 years.
Efficient Representation for Embezzlement Charges
If you have been arrested and charged with embezzlement, it is important
to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Willian
D. Thompson, we can provide timely, knowledgeable representation. Our
Scranton criminal defense attorney can work hard to protect your interests
and uphold your rights in court, and we will stand by your side every
step of the way.
Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation. We offer Spanish-speaking
services and 24/7 availability.