If a person is accused of embezzlement, they can face serious consequences. Embezzlement is a crime that happens when a person who has been given access to money or assets takes or converts those items for their own personal benefit.
Often, the accused embezzler is a person who is in a position of trust or authority, like an employee or financial manager, for example.
There are several elements that must be proven to find the accused person guilty of embezzlement. In addition to being entrusted with funds or property and converting them to their own use, the accused person must have had the intent to deprive the owner of the funds or property.
Embezzlement can happen in several settings, including businesses where employees have access to company bank accounts and cash, government agencies where public funds are managed and financial institutions where there is an opportunity to take money from customer accounts.
It can also happen in nonprofit organizations where employees have access to funds meant for charity and in educational settings where staff may misappropriate money meant for students.
A convicted person can face fines and penalties. The court may order the convicted person to pay restitution, which means they must repay the victim or the organization they stole from.
They may also be sentenced to jail for a few months or prison, which can last for several years. The penalties may increase depending on certain factors, such as whether vulnerable individuals were involved and how many counts of embezzlement the convicted person is facing.
There is help available to defend against an accusation of embezzlement.