Federal embezzlement is a serious white collar crime that can lead to severe penalties for the accused. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of what prosecutors must prove to secure an embezzlement conviction against a suspect. In this blog post, an Atlanta white collar criminal defense attorney will review the four elements prosecutors must determine in federal embezzlement cases.
Definition of Federal Embezzlement
We must understand the definition of embezzlement to understand the four elements of proving an accusation of embezzlement. Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom such property has been entrusted, or into whose hands it has lawfully come. An example of embezzlement is when an investment manager steals from his clients’ accounts.
Many people confuse embezzlement with larceny, but there is a crucial difference between the two. Larceny is when a person steals from someone else’s account and never had control of the funds in the first place. However, embezzlement occurs when the person stealing from the account had access to the funds for a legitimate reason and misused his or her access to steal.
Proving the 4 Elements of Federal Embezzlement
As stated on the United States Department of Justice website, prosecutors must prove the following four elements in a federal embezzlement case:
- there was a trust or fiduciary relationship between the defendant and the private organization or State or local government agency;
- the property came into the possession or care of the defendant by virtue of his/her employment;
- the defendant's dealings with the property constituted a fraudulent conversion or appropriation of it to his/her own use; and
- the defendant acted with the intent to deprive the owner of the use of this property.
Need Help with Your Case?
If you or a loved one are facing federal embezzlement charges, Nick Lotito and Seth Kirschenbaum are here to help. Our white collar criminal defense attorneys have more than three decades of criminal justice representation. Therefore, if you want experienced representation on your case, you’ll want our firm!
Call (404) 471-3177 now for a free consultation for your federal embezzlement case!