Cleveland Embezzlement Attorney
Aggressively Representing Cleveland Embezzlement Victims
An embezzlement charge is one of the most serious criminal charges a person can face. Embezzlements are often very complex and involve large sums of money. Embezzlers often have a great deal of access to the money that they steal. This access often leads to even larger thefts and more damage to the victims.
If you have been accused of embezzlement, you need an experienced Cleveland embezzlement lawyer at your side. Our team at HMW Law is prepared to aggressively defend your rights and your reputation. Our attorneys have a proven record of success in complex criminal cases. We know how to investigate a case and build a defense to ensure our clients' best possible outcomes.
Do not wait to get the legal help you need. Contact us online or call (216) 220-6776 today to discuss your case.
What Is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement is the misappropriation of funds or property that has been entrusted to you by an employer or a person who is owed money. The money or property is meant to be used for a specific purpose. Embezzlement charges are often brought against accountants, bookkeepers, and other people who have access to money or financial records. The money or property that is embezzled is typically used for personal expenses or other purposes.
The following are examples of embezzlement:
- An employee who uses company funds to pay for personal expenses
- A bookkeeper who uses company funds for personal purchases
- An accountant who uses company funds for personal expenses
- An executive who uses company funds for personal expenses
- A spouse or family member who secretly uses money from a joint account
- A person who secretly uses money from an escrow account
Embezzlement charges are often brought against executives and other employees who have access to company funds. They are also brought against spouses who secretly use money from joint accounts. Embezzlement charges can be difficult to prove. The prosecution must prove that you had the right to use the money and that you used the money for your own purposes. If you are married to the person who owns the money, the prosecution may claim that you had the right to use the money because it was "community property." It can be difficult to prove that you had no right to use the money.
What Is the Penalties for Embezzlement?
The penalties for embezzlement will depend on the circumstances of the case. Embezzlement is typically a felony. If you are convicted of embezzlement, you may face the following penalties:
- A fine of up to $10,000
- A prison sentence of up to five years
- A probation sentence
- Restitution to the victim
- A felony conviction on your record
- Loss of your voting rights
- Loss of your right to own a firearm
- Loss of your professional license
These penalties are in addition to the civil lawsuit that the victim may file against you. If the victim was a corporation, the corporation may sue you for damages. The corporation may sue you for the value of the money that was embezzled, the amount of money that the corporation lost due to the embezzlement, and the amount of money that the corporation spent to investigate the embezzlement.
What Are the Elements of Embezzlement?
The prosecution must prove several elements to get a conviction for embezzlement. The prosecution must prove that you had control over the money or property, that you had the right to use the money or property, and that you used the money or property for your own purposes. The prosecution must also prove that you wrongfully used the money or property. You will not be convicted of embezzlement if you used the money for a reasonable purpose. You may be acquitted of embezzlement if you can prove that you used the money for a reasonable purpose.
The following are examples of reasonable uses of embezzled money or property:
- An employee who uses company funds for personal expenses may claim that the expenses are reasonable if they are related to the employee's job
- A bookkeeper who uses company funds for personal purchases may claim that the purchases are reasonable if they are related to the bookkeeper's job
- An accountant who uses company funds for personal expenses may claim that the expenses are reasonable if they are related to the accountant's job
- A spouse who uses money from a joint account may claim that the expenses are reasonable if they are related to the family's needs
- A person who uses money from an escrow account may claim that the expenses are reasonable if they are related to the purchase of the item that is being held in escrow
Call Our Cleveland Embezzlement Lawyers Today
Our embezzlement attorneys can represent you in your case. Don't hesitate to contact our team to learn more about our services and how we can help you.
Call (216) 220-6776 today to schedule a consultation.
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