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Embezzlement: A form of criminal breach of fiduciary responsibility

| Jul 7, 2020 | White Collar Offenses |

Businesses have to trust employees with company assets in order for things to operate properly. The people who are entrusted with those assets have a fiduciary responsibility to handle them in the best way for the business. There are cases in which they might misuse those assets, such as using them for personal gain. Doing this can lead to embezzlement charges

Some people assume that the assets taken from a company have to be considered to face an accusation of embezzlement. This isn’t the case. Even taking a small amount of money out of the cash register can land a person in legal trouble. 

Embezzlement can also involve large amounts of money that are funneled away from the business using sneaky methods. For example, funds might be diverted from accounts controlled by the company into personal accounts or into accounts that are set up for sham companies but that are controlled by the employee. Since the money is going to the employee instead of to the employer where it should go, it is considered embezzlement.

It’s possible that more than one person is part of the embezzlement scheme. The person who has the fiduciary responsibility can work with another party who acts as a contractor. The contractor bills the company but never completes the job they should be doing. Once the payment is issued, it will likely be split between the two parties. 

Once embezzlement charges are levied against you, your focus must be determining the possible defense strategies you have and deciding on the direction of your defense. You’ll work closely with your attorney because there is likely a lot of evidence that you’ll need to address. 

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