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What is embezzlement?

When an Ohioan takes something that is not theirs, they may be accused of stealing the allegedly stolen item or of being a thief. Allegations of theft are serious and some readers may not understand what makes a charge of embezzlement any different from a regular charge of theft or larceny. In most jurisdictions, a person will face embezzlement charges instead of larceny or theft charges, if they held a role of responsibility or trust with regard to the organization from which the item or assets were allegedly stolen.

For example, a charge of embezzlement may occur in the following scenario. A Cincinnati resident works as teller for a local bank. As part of their job, they are responsible for handling their patrons' money and ensuring that financial transactions happen correctly so that the checks and money they receive are directed into the correct patron accounts.

Imagine further that the teller allegedly directed funds that were intended to go into patron accounts into an account for their own benefit. Rather than charging the individual with common theft or larceny, a prosecutor may elect to file embezzlement charges against the individual due to their role of responsibility in the bank organization.

Trust and responsibility are common elements that prosecutors must prove when they attempt to brig embezzlement charges against individuals. They must also show that individuals who allegedly commit embezzlement do so with intention and not by accident. Unintentional mistakes that misdirect funds generally may not serve as grounds for embezzlement charges.

Charges of embezzlement are serious. To defend them, individuals must be prepared to face their charges head-on. Criminal defense attorneys can help men and women who must overcome embezzlement charges in order to move their lives forward.

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