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What you should know about embezzlement

Embezzlement is typically known as a white collar crime that is considered in most states as theft or larceny of assets. These assets can be money or property. Embezzlement usually occurs in an employment or corporate setting and this theft is generally performed by a trusted person in the company who has responsibility over the assets or property.

In thefts that involve money, there are generally two common ways that embezzlers will steal funds. They may take a large amount all at once or they may take smaller amounts over a longer period of time. Interestingly, some embezzlers can get quite inventive with their embezzling schemes. They may falsify records, fabricate employees to receive fraudulent payroll checks, or bill for services that were not performed. They may also fail to record an amount of money that is received, such as a store clerk may be paid for an item, but then pockets the money instead of ringing the purchase through the cash register.

Although the embezzlement may seem fairly obvious once it is discovered, there are actually four factors that must occur before a charge of embezzlement can be supported. There must be reliance by one party on the other, such as a store owner relying on a store clerk to ring up purchases, the embezzler mush have gotten the property through the relationship between the two parties, the embezzler must have actually taken the property for one's own use or given the property to someone else, and the act of embezzling must be intentional.

Defendants who are facing charges for white collar crimes such as embezzlement may find it beneficial to seek the counsel of an experienced Maryland attorney who may be able to assist in providing strong criminal defenses.

Source: FindLaw, "Embezzlement" Dec. 16, 2014

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