Sometimes people may complain that the legal profession uses too much “legalese” in describing things like crimes. Popular television shows and movies have helped to remove the mystery or confusion from some legal terms, but it can still be the case that the general public is not always able to discern the specific behavior or action that constitutes a crime even if they are casually aware of what it represents.

Embezzlement is one of those terms that many people have heard in different contexts but are still possibly a little unsure about exactly it means or what the illegal act it refers to is. Basically, embezzlement is the theft of money or property by a person who has been placed in a position of trust to hold the money or property for safekeeping. 

Embezzlement is more a form of mismanagement or violation of trust than the traditional theft. In the common understanding of theft, an unknown stranger procures another’s money or property, but with embezzlement the money or property is freely placed in the charge of another person. The crime occurs when the trusted individual uses the money or property they were entrusted to safeguard for his or her own personal gain.

The issue with embezzlement can concern the amount of value that is involved as well as the nature of the relationship between the two parties. People that are often accused of embezzlement hold positions like accountant, bank manager or trustee. The issue becomes even more complicated when an entire business or partnership is accused of embezzlement because of the actions of multiple people.

Embezzlement is a complex area of criminal law, so if you are accused of embezzlement it would be advisable to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our law firm has years of experience in defending clients who have been charged with theft crimes, and we advocate strongly on their  behalf throughout the pretrial and trial process to defend their rights and to secure the best outcome possible.