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What must the prosecution prove in an embezzlement case?

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2019 | Firm News |

Facing accusations of theft on the job is not something to take lightly. When these charges fall under the white-collar category of embezzlement, they may become even more serious.

Embezzlement is a form of fraud whereby a person steals money entrusted to him or her at work or by a loved one. It usually happens in businesses where money changes hands directly or virtually. If you face a charge of embezzlement, you may wonder what type of battle you face. It helps to understand what the prosecution must prove to convict you of this crime.

The act was intentional

One of the foundations of prosecuting someone for embezzlement is proving the theft was intentional. To demonstrate this, the prosecutor would have to show that the defendant set out to intentionally intercept finances and funnel them into his or her personal account.

Authorities find a stash of money

When a criminal act occurs, it is not a stretch to believe the person at fault would want to cover up or hide the misstep. In embezzlement, one of the crucial indicators of the crime is the defendant must actively attempt to hide the money or cover up the trail. The victim of the theft must also have not given permission for the money to change hands in such a way.

The opportunity to commit the crime

Embezzlement is not a crime of chance. A defendant must have the proper means and opportunity to commit the act. Therefore, if the defendant has a position that allows him or her access to the money and a relationship with the victim to allow a confidence, the prosecution has a stronger case.

Personal use of stolen funds

The defendant must have tapped into the money at some point to use it. There may also be proof that the defendant hangs on to the money for future use in the form of a retirement fund or trust.

A defense attorney may have the ability to counter the prosecution’s case, especially if doubt exists that the defendant did any of the above willingly. If you find yourself facing these charges, you may want to engage a qualified representative.