Redwood City Fraud/Embezzlement Lawyer
Protecting Clients Throughout Northern California
Fraud and embezzlement are commonly known as "white collar crimes," as they do not involve violence or the use of a weapon. They are generally committed by persons who are entrusted with money or merchandise and are tempted to keep some of it. Often people are in desperate, or emotional, situations and the temptation becomes too much. These poor choices can lead to even worse consequences.
Many embezzlers are able to get away with it, at least for a while, but at some point, an investigation will inevitably begin. Usually, this happens unbeknownst to the embezzler. As the dollar amount grows, so does the evidence to convict, as well as the seriousness of the charges.
Fraud vs. Embezzlement in California
Fraud and embezzlement are distinct offenses in California, although they share similarities regarding unlawful financial activities. Here's a brief overview of the key differences:
- Fraud: Fraud generally involves intentionally deceiving someone to gain a financial or other material benefit. It can take various forms, such as identity theft, insurance fraud, credit card fraud, or securities fraud. Fraud typically relies on false representations, concealment of facts, or other deceptive practices aimed at inducing someone to act in a way that results in financial loss or harm.
- Embezzlement: Embezzlement refers to the misappropriation or theft of funds or property entrusted to one's care, often in a professional or employment setting. It occurs when a person with lawful access to another's assets fraudulently appropriates or converts them for personal gain. Embezzlement involves a violation of trust rather than the use of deception to obtain the assets.
If you are facing charges related to fraud or embezzlement in California, it's crucial to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assess the specific details of your case and provide appropriate legal guidance based on the relevant laws and potential defenses.
Is Embezzlement a State or Federal Crime?
Embezzlement is a federal crime when the United States government is involved in the job, the agency the person works for or situations with national interests. Many employed to a federal company in a position of trust accomplish embezzlement as a professional through his or her services at the company with his or her skills. Those individuals are usually unsupervised and the crime is to provide assets to him or her. This could be an accountant, tax consultant or other white collar professional. Embezzlement is commonly known as transferring funds, other types of assets maybe be moved or stolen. For federal offenses, any amount of at least $1000, it does not matter if it is real estate, records available to the public or other assets, could face fines and jail sentences. The maximum penalty for these convicted criminals may not go over $250,000 and no more than ten years of a jail period may be issued.
What Are the Consequences of Embezzlement?
The consequences for an embezzlement conviction are based on the specifics of the case, such as the value of the property taken. Common embezzlement punishments include:
- Jail or state prison time
- Large fines
- Repayment of stolen funds
- Repayment of stolen property
- Permanent ineligibility for any state or local government position
Is Embezzlement a Felony in California?
Penal Code 503 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime to unlawfully take property that someone entrusts to you. Under California state law, when does embezzlement become a felony? This depends on the amount embezzled.
- A misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in county jail is embezzling money or property with an aggregate value of $950 or less.
- If the amount embezzled is greater than $950, it can be charged as a felony, which is punishable by up to three years in prison.
One common form of embezzlement is employee theft. This form of embezzlement can evolve into grand theft charges and, depending on the dollar amount, can be prosecuted as a felony.
If you have been arrested and you suspect your activities have been watched, it is crucial you contact our Redwood City fraud defense attorney immediately. You may have been under surveillance for longer than you realize and it takes time to perform a thorough investigation to build a defense.
Contact Us Today To Get Started
If you or a loved one have been charged with embezzlement, attorney Shelley D. Dwyer can begin to assist you in making amends in order to improve your image with the court and the prosecutor. If you are able to pay back money to your employer, or the party whose money or property has been taken, this may be the best course of action.
Contact the Law Offices of Shelley D. Dwyer, today for a FREE consultation!