Embezzlement

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.

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