Embezzlement is a form of stealing that involves property which originally had been entrusted to the person who later stole it. Therefore, in addition to the theft itself, Embezzlement involves a breach of trust. Embezzlement can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether the value of the stolen property equals or exceeds $200.
What is Embezzlement? (See Va. Code §18.2-111)
Embezzlement is similar to traditional common law larceny, but unlike larceny, in an embezzlement case the accused lawfully received or was entrusted with the property of another. The accused usually comes into possession of the property by virtue of his position as an employee, agent, public official, bailee, or a fiduciary. The property can be tangible or intangible, and it can include things such as money, bills, notes, checks, drafts, orders, bonds, receipts, bills of lading, etc. At some later point, the accused wrongfully and fraudulently uses, conceals, converts, or disposes of the property with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner.
Examples of possible embezzlement:
- Office supply clerk takes office supplies for his or her own use without permission.
- Cashier takes money out of the register for his or her own use.
- Corporate accountant, without permission, pays his personal bills with company money.
- Bank teller pockets deposits made at local bank branch.
- Bookkeeper retains customer refunds for herself or himself.
- A department store sales clerk gives a customer an unauthorized discount or gives the customer merchandise at no cost. (Note: The sales clerk does not need to receive personal use or benefit, it’s enough for someone else to receive that use or benefit).
- Valet is given car keys but instead of parking it, valet steals it.
*In each of these situations, the initial possession of the property by the thief was lawful, as the property had been entrusted to him or her. However, the thief subsequently betrayed that trust by stealing or misappropriating the property for his or her own use, or another’s use.
If you’ve been charged with Embezzlement, Larceny, Fraud or some other Misdemeanor or Felony Criminal Offense, you need an experienced, aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyer. Call The Wilson Law Firm toll free 877-CRIM-LWYR or 703-361-6100.