Theft is presumed to be someone breaking into a residential home or pointing a gun at a victim to take their money and other possessions. Another form of stealing exists that does not require illegal entry into a dwelling or showing a weapon in a threatening manner.
The suspect may be better dressed, but an embezzlement is a form of theft that takes the form of betrayal of trust or duty, abusing positions of power to enrich themselves. The crime costs taxpayers and employers millions of dollars. Specific amounts of money are based on the position in the organization. Median loss for executives was $600,000 with managers $150,000.
The most common target is for-profit companies. Smaller business entities and individuals can also become targets. Regardless, more than 50 percent of victims do not recover the money lost.
The commonalities and motivations
Most are men, with more than half in their thirties to mid-forties. The most likely company position to commit this crime involves employers in senior management, accounting, sales, and operations. Even more surprising is that most embezzlers are first-time offenders, never having been charged with a crime.
Perhaps the biggest question comes in the form of one word. Why? What brings someone to the point where their only option is taking money from their employer? Statistics reveal that the biggest triggering of an embezzlement scheme is those living beyond their means with financial difficulties and unrest at home, including a pending divorce.
Acts of embezzlement are not limited to major corporations. Government agencies from school boards on up can find themselves the victims of stealing that involves a severe breach of trust. The most recent high-profile example was similar criminal allegations involving the rollout of COVID-19 relief funds that did not make it to their intended target.
Serious crimes require serious help. The stakes are high. Careers end. Freedom can end as well. Representation from a skilled attorney with experience and accomplishments in this complex area of the law may be necessary.