Baton Rouge grocery store clerks and financial officers for corporations have similar duties. Both have permission to handle the employer or customers’ money. Embezzlement is a crime involving theft by a person entrusted with caring for property, whether that involves regularly pocketing a dollar or two out of a cash drawer or stealing thousands of dollars by falsifying business transactions.
In Louisiana, embezzlement is a white collar crime described as “misappropriation without violence.” Embezzlement isn’t bank robbery but, make no mistake, consequences for a conviction can be very severe. The same theft allegations can be prosecuted in state and federal courts.
Under state law, a single conviction for embezzlement can result in fines and imprisonment, plus restitution. In addition, a defendant with a felony theft record faces possible lifetime damage to job prospects and personal and societal relationships. Penalties increase substantially based upon the value of property stolen and the defendant’s criminal history.
Most embezzlement crimes take place in workplaces, through simple or complex schemes like billing or payroll manipulation. Embezzlers commonly steal small amounts over long periods to avoid easy detection of missing property. A one-time theft also may be considered embezzlement.
Prosecutors must show an individual bound by a fiduciary relationship committed an intentional, nonviolent theft through fraudulent means or without the property owner’s consent. The defendant must have assumed ownership of the property, with no intention of returning it, for personal gain or the benefit of someone else.
Criminal defense attorneys understand how devastating theft allegations and convictions can be to a defendant’s life. A prospective employer probably doesn’t care whether a conviction for theft by misappropriation without violence is a misdemeanor or felony. Any history of theft may affect employment, housing options and credit with financial institutions negatively.
An attorney’s work is across-the-board damage control. This often includes coping with media interest and intense negotiations with prosecutors for reduced charges or penalties. To learn more about white collar crimes, we invite you to take a look at our webpage.
Source: FindLaw, “Embezzlement” Sep. 15, 2014