When an employer is trusted to care for a client’s property, they have a fiduciary duty to act with due diligence and care and do not use this property for their own personal gain. When an employer wrongfully takes or withholds a client’s property, breaching their fiduciary duties, they may be convicted of embezzlement and/or other white collar crimes in the state of New York.
Under New York Penal Law Sec. 155, larceny-by-embezzlement is classified a felony, ranging from Class B to Class E, depending on the severity of the crime and the value of the stolen property.
- A Class B embezzlement felony (first degree grand larceny) typically involves stolen property valuing over $1,000,000 and can result in up to 25 years in prison, plus fines.
- A Class C embezzlement felony (second degree grand larceny) typically involves property valued between $50,000 and $1,000,000, and could result in 15 years in prison, plus fines.
- A Class D embezzlement felony (third degree grand larceny) typically involves property valued between $3,000 and $50,000, and could result in seven years in prison, plus fines.
- A Class E embezzlement felony (fourth degree grand larceny) typically involves stolen property valued from $1,000 to $3,000 and may result in up to four years in prison.
Defending against embezzlement charges
It can be difficult to defend against embezzlement charges, but one common defense may involve proving a lack of intent. Your defense attorney may present evidence to show that you did not have the requisite intent to embezzle, meaning that you did not intend to take the property from your client permanently. By discussing your charges with a defense attorney, you can get a clearer picture of the strategies that will be used in your specific case.