Theft happens in many forms. It can be direct, like burglary or pick-pocketing. It can also be more discrete. White-collar theft is usually executed through transactions. But it can also be direct, like taking funds from someone’s safe deposit or making unauthorized bank withdrawals.
One of the most subtle forms of white-collar crimes is known as embezzlement. This form of crime happens when one party trusts another with their money, and the other party quietly utilizes the funds in question without the owner’s knowledge and approval. If you are charged with embezzlement, it is important that you understand what you are dealing with and how you can defend yourself.
How New York law punishes embezzlement
Embezzlement is basically a larceny crime, since it mostly involves theft or misappropriation of funds that belong to an employer or the employer’s clients. Per New York law, any embezzlement that exceeds $1,000 of property is treated as fourth-degree larceny. This is a Class E felony according to New York laws and a conviction carries a minimum of three years of imprisonment. Embezzlement of more than $1 million worth of property, on the other hand, is treated as a Class B felony. If convicted, you may spend up to 25 years in prison.
Defending against embezzlement charges
Depending on the specifics of your case, you can use the following strategies to defend yourself when charged with embezzlement:
Challenge the evidence – Basically, this means poking holes in the validity of the claim against you. Unlike robbery, embezzlement is never straightforward, and with the right financial knowledge, you may be able to retrace your steps and prove that you never committed a crime after all.
Deny intent – It is not uncommon to make clerical errors while moving large sums of money. While presenting their case, the prosecution must demonstrate that your actions were deliberate and that you intended to benefit from them. You will likely get off the hook if you can prove that your actions were not intentional.
Defending your rights
If you are indicted and charged with embezzlement, it is important to understand that you remain innocent until proven otherwise. Knowing your legal options and seeking professional guidance can help you to protect your rights and interests while defending yourself against the embezzlement charge in question.