Fraud has different types and it is important to know which type of fraud one is being accused of in order to ensure all the elements of the crime are being fulfilled. One common type of fraud is embezzlement, also known as employee theft.
It involves the fraudulent taking of personal property by someone who was entrusted with the property. As mentioned above, the most common instances of it are when money has been misappropriated, like a bank teller pocketing deposits or a retail employee taking a gift card. These may seem like innocent mistakes, which is why understanding what constitutes the crime of embezzlement can help those accused of committing the crime defend their rights.
In order to prove embezzlement, the prosecution must prove that the employee had possession of the goods or funds because of their position or that the employee had the authority to exercise substantial control over the funds or goods. This means the prosecution must also prove some form of relationship between the alleged victim and perpetrator. Substantial control is determined by considering a number of factors such as the job description, title and common practice in that company.
Little known is the fact that someone facing embezzlement charges could also find themselves facing tax evasion charges. The Internal Revenue Service requires that embezzled funds are included in income tax returns and once restitution has been made, a deduction can be sought. If the embezzled funds are not reported, it is possible to face tax evasion charges as well.
As the aforementioned demonstrates, criminal law can be complicated to understand during an already emotionally turbulent time. It may be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney to ensure one’s rights are protected.