Orange County Embezzlement Lawyer
Crimes of Employee Fraud & Employee Theft
Need a lawyer for an embezzlement case? Embezzlement crimes are classified as white collar offenses, which, by default, make them business-related. The nicknames for this offense derive from the crime's original definition, which identifies acts in which something is unlawfully taken by a person who has been entrusted with it. Employees who have been entrusted with the personal property or belongings of another under legal decree are those persons who are at risk of being accused of embezzlement.
Looking closely at its definition, embezzlement is classified as more than just a white collar crime it falls under the umbrella of a theft offense as well. As such, charges of this nature can be very serious, as they represent criminal activity from two different aspects of the criminal justice system – white collar crimes and
theft crimes. If you're facing criminal allegations for the embezzlement of another person's property, your charges will be prosecuted under Penal Code 503 which is a derivation of Penal Code 484 theft. An Orange County criminal attorney from our firm can further explain this to you in person.
About Your Embezzlement Charges: Methods & Variations
In order to fully understand why you were formally charged for embezzlement, you need to first understand the different methods by which an act of this nature can be executed. Therefore, we examine some of the most commonly performed acts of embezzlement below:
- Falsification of Records: When small amounts of property or money are methodically stowed away on a repeated number of occasions, the behavior will be seen as an action to conceal. This type of concealment is generally taken as an attempt to falsify records, thus allowing the activity to continue for long periods of time, perhaps even for years. Embezzling goods through the falsification of records, however, is not always completed over time. There are specific cases in which a large sum is concealed all at once. Either way, the behavior is defined as embezzlement as prosecuted as such.
- Creation of False Vendor Accounts: If a vendor account is created and utilized under false pretenses, i.e. to deceive another person about the true nature of an activity, the behavior will be taken as an act of embezzlement. This method is often perceived as a criminal way to supply false bills, thus allowing for cut checks to come off as legitimate. In some cases, accusations of this nature can also involve the creation and use of false employees who have been "paid" with payroll checks.
- Ponzi-Like Financial Schemes: Through this method of business operation, high returns can be paid to early investors by pulling from the funds that are received by later investors. The "scheming" comes into play because the plan requires that late investors be persuaded into believing that they have been initiated into a high-return investment scheme of their own. In reality, however, their own money has been embezzled.
Possible Penalties for an Embezzlement Conviction in CA
As noted earlier, crimes of embezzlement are classified under the umbrella of theft. As such, the penalties upon conviction will reflect the punishments that are indicated in Penal Code 487 grand theft or Penal Code 488 petty theft. If the amount that was embezzled values more than $950, the embezzlement crime will be convicted as a grand theft offense; if it values less than $950, it will be convicted as a petty theft offense.
The penalties that a defendant will face upon conviction depend upon a couple of circumstances, especially if they have been convicted for grand theft. Referred to as a "wobbler" by some legal professionals, grand theft penalties are determined by examining a couple of extenuating factors. Firstly, the specific circumstances involved in the case will be analyzed. Secondly, the criminal history of the defendant will be analyzed. Only then will a decision be made as to how the crime will be punished, i.e. as a misdemeanor or felony offense.
As with every type of criminal behavior, the degree of your penalties will depend on the severity of your charges. Misdemeanor petty theft embezzlements could result in up to six months in county jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Misdemeanor grand theft embezzlements could result in up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Felony grand theft embezzlements could result in up to three years in California State Prison and up to $10,000. Looking at the wide spectrum of penalties that could be faced upon conviction, it is clear that only an experienced and aggressive defense attorney should be employed on your behalf.
Looking for an attorney for your embezzlement case in Orange County? Contact us today to get started!