White-collar crimes can often be difficult to prove and extremely complex because they involve professional relationships, trust and interpretation. This is why it is possible for a person to be falsely accused of a serious crime such as embezzlement. It is vital that those accused of a white-collar crime take swift action to defend themselves because their reputation can be damaged irreparably even if they are never charged with the crime.
The following is a brief overview of the crime of embezzlement, including the elements of the crime and possible defenses, so that you can understand the basics of how the law applies to this white-collar crime.
The definition of embezzlement
The crime of embezzlement is committed when a person has lawful possession of another person’s property and takes it for their own use without intending to return it. A simple example of this is an employee who is able to handle company cash for business purchases. They would be committing a crime if they purchased personal items without authorization or if they kept the cash for their own use.
Who can commit embezzlement?
Generally, only employees and people in the corporate field commit embezzlement. This is because, in other contexts, a similar act would be a general theft crime.
The elements of the crime of embezzlement
In order to charge a person with the crime of embezzlement, the four elements of the crime must be satisfied. First, it must be shown that there exists a fiduciary relationship between the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator of the crime. Acquisition of property through this relationship should be shown, and there should also be evidence that the defendant took this property for their own use. It should also be proven that this action was intentional.
If you have been accused of the crime of embezzlement, it is vital that you take immediate action to look at your defense options so that you can secure your reputation and future career.