Anyone facing an embezzlement charge in South Carolina should not overlook the seriousness of the matter. Without a proper defense, the prosecution can present evidence and statements to escalate the allegations into a white-collar criminal conviction. An arrest alone is not necessarily enough to cause long-term damage to a promising career, but an embezzlement criminal conviction can create insurmountable challenges in life.
Often, when an employer accuses someone of embezzlement, the theft or siphoning of money has gone on for quite some time. Due to the serious nature of the crime, many people who face embezzlement charges do not realize that the prosecution bears the burden of proof. Many factors can affect the outcome of an embezzlement case. However, to secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the allegations meet the following four criteria:
For an embezzlement charge to stand, the stolen funds must be used for personal benefit. It is not uncommon for embezzlers to benefit from padding their own financial accounts and purchasing property for themselves or family and friends.
Position of trust or authority
In order for embezzlement to apply, the offender must have been in a position that gave her or him access to the money or assets misappropriated, i.e., cashiers, account representatives and managers.
Not all misappropriations of money are done maliciously. Many people who find themselves facing similar criminal charges intend to repay what they took. One characteristic that sets an embezzlement charge apart from a regular theft charge is intent. People who commit embezzlement or steal money from someone or an organization do so without any intention of repayment. They intend to permanently deprive the victim of money and assets.
Unlike other crimes, an embezzlement charge requires evidence. It is not enough for an entity or victim to make allegations against another. They must have clear evidence that shows the theft took place without the owner’s permission or knowledge. This is a common reason why some organizations do not apprehend potential embezzlers until they have a clear trail of evidence of misaligned funds and assets that often amount to thousands of dollars.