Many people know the name “embezzlement” because they’ve
heard it mentioned in a news report or on television somewhere. While
the name sounds devious and impressive, meaning accusations often draw
significant interest, very few people actually know the true details of
this crime. Generally, embezzlement is the term used to describe theft
of property that belongs to someone else, but which the perpetrator was
given access to. As such, the stolen property is usually money.
Here are three facts about embezzlement accusations that you may not be
aware of but you should know, particularly if you have been accused of
this type of theft crime.
Embezzlement is a White Collar Crime
“White collar crimes” is a term used to describe offenses which
are perpetrated by someone in a professional setting. Because these crimes
are usually committed by someone who is held in high social standing or
placed in a position of trust, they’re typically thought of as being
a “white collar” professional. It should come as little surprise
then that in most instances those who perpetrate this crime the most often
are accountants, finance-handling secretaries, bankers, account managers,
financial officers, and other high-ranking executives who have the ability
to manipulate funds. In most instances, the victim is actually a company,
not an individual, though individuals are also often victims.
Embezzlement is a “Wobbler”
“Wobbler” is a name given to crimes that could be charged as
either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the
offense. Embezzlement is a theft crime, and like other theft crimes in
Wisconsin the severity of the charges is based on the value of the property
stolen. If the property stolen is less than $2,500, the charges will most
likely be Class A misdemeanor charges, which can carry up to nine months
in jail. Above that $2,500 mark the crime can become a felony, which can
carry years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
Embezzlement Has to Be Intentional
Believe it or not, embezzlement is one of a very select few crimes where
saying you didn’t mean to do it is actually an accepted defense.
In some instances, if the defendant can prove that they didn’t actually
mean to steal anything, and that they actually and believed they had the
rightful ability to take control of the property for their own purposes
as though it were their own, then no crime has been committed. A lack
of intent is grounds to have your charges dismissed.
If you need help with your embezzlement charges, speak with a Milwaukee
criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella
today by dialing (414) 882-8382.