What is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement is a type of white-collar crime that involves the taking and converting of another’s property by someone lawfully in possession of the property. This occurs where there is a fiduciary relationship between two parties: one party who owns the property and transfers its possession to another for safekeeping and the second party who receives the property with promises to safeguard it on the owner’s behalf. Examples of embezzlement include a depositor who places his money with a financial institution that subsequently transfers, spends or otherwise fails to return the money; a merchant who fails to return property temporarily placed into his custody for sale on consignment; or the renter of an automobile who never returns the car. Examples also include private investment Ponzi schemes.
Embezzlement is similar to Fraud in that it is a non-violent offense aimed at financial gain. It differs from Fraud, however, in that there is no misrepresentation to induce the taking of another’s property. The embezzler is already in lawful possession the property but fails to either return it or to do with it what he or she promised when it was received.
Being charged with embezzlement is a serious event and one that should never be taken lightly. Criminal investigations and prosecutions regarding embezzlement are on the rise across the country, especially with financial institutions such as investment, brokerage and banking firms. The greater the financial loss associated with the embezzlement, the greater the punishment or lengthier the jail sentences that courts and prosecutors will seek to impose against convicted offenders. Prosecutors also use conspiracy and conspiracy liability theory to increase total losses in embezzlement cases against an individual who may have been a member of an embezzlement conspiracy. Therefore, if you have been charged with embezzlement, it is important to seek legal representation immediately in order to protect your rights and minimize the impact that a charge of his nature may have on your life.
If you have been charged with embezzlement and need expert legal representation, contact the RI/MA embezzlement defense attorneys at the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III by email or call today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.