When you steal property that does not belong to you but another person entrusted it to you, embezzlement occurs. This crime is a type of theft, but it differs from general theft or larceny.
This is because when you take the property, you have the consent of the owner, so the original removal of the property occurs lawfully. For example, if your employer entrusts you with paying suppliers, but you use the business’s checks to give yourself money, you commit embezzlement.
Defining a position of trust
For the court to consider the crime embezzlement, you must be in a position of trust. For example, if you work at a financial institution, work as a clerk and have money or property entrusted to you or act as an executor, conservator, custodian, guardian or trustee and steal money, your position gives you the ability to discreetly steal funds or property from another person or organization.
Needed evidence to prove the crime
In addition to a position of trust, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, other factors must be present to consider the crime embezzlement. For example, the property must have come into your position due to employment, you must have engaged in fraudulent activity for your benefit and you must have acted with the intent to deprive the property’s owner from using his or her own property.
Embezzlement is a serious crime that carries significant penalties. If law enforcement recently charged you with embezzlement, take the necessary steps to defend your interests and minimize the penalties you face in the event of a potential conviction.