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How to Find Information on the Penalties for Embezzlement

Being accused of or charged with embezzlement can lead to severe penalties that can have long-lasting consequences. The crime of embezzlement is defined as the acquisition of property or funds in a fraudulent manner by someone in a position of trust within a company. This can be handled in a criminal manner or with civil consequences, both with their own penalties.

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  1. Embezzlement occurs when a person is in a position of trust within a company.

  2. The theft of property or money must come into the possession of the suspected embezzler because of the nature of his or her position in the company.

  3. The transfer of possession must be done in a fraudulent way.

  4. For embezzlement to be proved, the fraudulent possession of money must be intentional.

  5. Speak to a criminal lawyer. A lawyer who is an expert on white-collar crime will be able to give you a better idea of what sentences are typical for embezzlement cases in the state you live in.

  6. Any sentencing involved in a criminal trial is ruled on by the judge. The judge can designate a penalty that falls anywhere within the legal range of sentences for the particular type of embezzlement. This may include a fine and no jail time, or it may include the maximum stay in prison along with a hefty payment.

  7. U.S. code details specific penalties for all types of embezzlement, ranging from misuse of public funds to embezzlement by bank managers to theft of livestock. A minimum and maximum penalty is stated for each category. Visit the FindLaw Web site (see Resources below) to view U.S. Criminal Code Title 18, Chapter 31, which covers embezzlement , or ask an attorney to explain it to you.

  8. Discuss penalties with a lawyer who specializes in civil cases. The penalties in civil cases will always depend on the amount of money taken in the embezzlement, but a lawyer can give you a good idea if there are other fees and penalties attached to your civil case.

  9. Use the Department of Justice Web site (see Resources below) to research potential penalties or penalty statistics for embezzlement in the United States.

  10. Tip

    If you are accused of committing embezzlement and the judge finds it not to be true, you have the right to file a defamation lawsuit against your accuser.


    In addition to restitution, you could be responsible for any legal fees incurred during the investigation if you are found guilty.

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Things You'll Need

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