A company’s owners can’t always micromanage their employees. They must do their best to hire someone they feel like they can trust and hope to make the right choice. Managing someone else’s money comes with significant responsibilities, however.
When money is misused or misappropriated from an employer, it can quickly lead to embezzlement charges. Embezzlement is a crime that may be prosecuted by state or federal prosecutors depending on the nature of the offense. Taking time to learn what constitutes embezzlement and how police investigate it may aid you in crafting a defense strategy in your case.
How is embezzlement usually discovered?
Misuse of company funds is often uncovered when employers or their accountants notice some kind of irregularity with the company’s funds. It can be as simple as using a company credit card to pay for personal expenses or as complex as “skimming” accounts for small amounts at a time and diverting that money to a secret account somewhere.
Sometimes employers handle an issue “in-house,” and quietly resolve the matter. In other cases, they may report an alleged financial impropriety to the police, prompting them to launch their own investigation. The police will generally comb through the financial records, looking for evidence of fraud. Police investigators may refer the case over to prosecutors to file charges if their investigation shows that some willful misuse of company assets occurred.
What else should you know about white-collar crimes like embezzlement?
No one ever wants to find out that they’re facing criminal charges. The prospect of having to spend time in prison can be hard enough to swallow.
What you may not realize is that many individuals convicted of white-collar crimes also end up being sued civilly for their alleged victim’s losses. While your criminal and civil cases may not be connected, one jury tends to consider what the other does. You may find yourself forced to pay back what you stand accused of having taken as well.
You shouldn’t take chances with your fate when the stakes are as high as they are in your criminal case. An attorney can provide you with the necessary guidance necessary to make informed defense strategy decisions in your case.