What is embezzlement?

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20th Dec 2021

When you watch TV dramas or Netflix series revolving around crimes, there will be one case that’s
synonymous to each and every show- embezzlement. However not a lot of viewers know what happens
to the whole investigation process of embezzlement and how it came about. The only thing the viewers
know is the prosecution stage of the case, what happens after the case and how the decision was made.

What is embezzlement?

An embezzlement is the act of purposefully stealing or acquiring assets entrusted to an employee by an
employer, company or organization.

But wait! Isn’t embezzlement…. illegal? To clarify, in embezzlement, the embezzler obtains assets
LEGALLY, but the assets are used for unintended purposes. This is what makes the act of embezzlement

Embezzlement, which involves misappropriating money or property for your own use that has been
entrusted to you by someone else. If someone has a claim to the money and is using it, the owner might
not know if any is missing if they’re not keeping track. This commonly happens at businesses where
multiple people have access to funds.

Embezzlement is often seen as a white-collar crime, meaning that many cases involve businesses or
business relationships. Employees can embezzle property as well as money, including taking things they
have access to through their jobs and using the item or items as their own. The punishment for
embezzlement nationally is fairly hefty, and in Florida, embezzlement charges are also quite harsh.

Types of Embezzlement
To become an embezzler, not that we want you to be, one must be in a position of power or authority in
a company. Here are most common types of embezzlement:

Cheque Deposits
The embezzler makes a series of deposits and withdrawals between several banks taking advantage of “float” or the amount of time it takes for check deposits to be cleared from their home banks. The checks will grow in value and withdrawing money from other banks while within the “float” range. This type of embezzlement can also fall under fake payments and forged cheques.

Cryptocurrency Pullout
Not every cryptocurrency is a scam. There are cases where currency startups, commonly
known as “shit coin” receives funding from investors or eye-catching coin name that
appeal to the masses. Once the currency booms and stocks are high, the inventors of the

currency will pullout and never to be seen or heard again. Doing this, all the investors who
invested in the currency, including us who invested in the coin, will be left with nothing
because once we invest into the coin, it goes to the liquidity pool of the creator and they
have the power to lock it or make it a rotational reward pool (token supply).

Falsification of overtime records occur when an employee or manager purposefully
punches in their card later than expected. This would happen after a regular shift, leaving
the company and then going back few hours later and punches their card out giving them
an overtime for the day.

• Kickbacks
This is the when someone gets aggressive commissions or added income above the real
price of the product for their own personally profit. Kickbacks involves a vendor, form
whom the company purchases materials in their course of business, agrees to give that
money directly if they continue to buy products from them.

This type of embezzlement can be accomplished if the people involved are on the
frontlines in stores, restaurants, banks, etc. They have a plan in pocketing money from
the register without creating discrepancies between what the computer shows and what
the drawer shows. They don’t enter the item and/or amount into the register but they
need to keep track of how much money they get after their shift is over.

What is the punishment for embezzling?

A few key elements to an embezzlement charge include the way something is stolen. In an embezzlement
case, the state does not need to prove that the defendant initially took the victim’s property without the
victim’s consent; entrustment may have happened voluntarily. However, the prosecutor does need to
prove that the defendant later intentionally spent, used, or took the entrusted property without the
victim’s consent.

The charges in Florida for embezzlement are based on theft statutes. Embezzlement may be charged as
petit theft or grand theft. The type of theft often depends on the value of the taken property and
determines whether the state will prosecute an offense as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Theft of property valued between $300 and $20,000 qualifies as grand theft in the third degree. Property
valued between $20,000 and $100,000 becomes grand theft in the second degree, while property valued
over $100,000 results in a charge of grand theft in the first degree. In Florida, any theft that does not meet
the state requirements for a felony prosecution becomes a petit theft charge prosecuted as a

Embezzlement can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the items taken and their
value and whether the accused has previous embezzlement convictions. For example, the embezzlement
of up to $300 worth of goods or money is a first-degree misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year
in jail. Embezzlement of less than $100 may lead to a second-degree misdemeanor charge and up to 60

days in jail. Individuals charged with embezzling particular items or property valued at over $300, or those
who have a previous conviction for embezzlement, may be charged with a felony.

How can I defend myself against embezzlement charges?

If you’re charged with embezzlement in Florida, it’s crucial that you take it seriously. Part of that means
understanding what you’re charged with and what your next steps should be.

Like any crime, you can defend yourself from embezzlement. Having a skilled defense attorney on your
side can help you provide a cohesive legal defense and help with negotiations if you opt for a plea deal.
There are two types of defenses that are popular in embezzlement cases.

• Good faith belief of ownership or right to possess the property
Good faith of ownership or right to the property can be used as an effective
defense. The goal is to show that your actions shouldn’t be considered stealing
because you believe you had been given the property or goods. Messages, emails,
documents, or other proof that someone expressed the transfer of the good or
property to you are useful when using this defense. You can defend yourself from
embezzlement if you can show the property was entrusted to you.

• Embezzlement Impacts Your Future
If you’re found guilty of embezzlement, it will be harder to find work and to build
trust with employers since the charge will appear in your record. A guilty charge
will negatively impact the ability to secure such a position in the future.

The best way to put forth a good defense is to seek the counsel of a skilled defense attorney as soon as
possible. Even if you’re only being investigated and have not yet been charged with anything, seeking legal
advice can help you steer clear of any law enforcement traps.