The Embezzlement Puzzle

Feb 24, 2009

The other word for embezzlement is stealing, plain and simple. Embezzlement is committed by a person or persons who decides to take off with property or money entrusted to them by others. For a good example, think Enron.

Embezzlement is classified as a white-collar crime, and its scope can range from someone who funnels cash off at a cash register to corporate executives dipping into the company cookie jar when they aren’t supposed to. No matter what the amount of money involved is – say dollars over the time span of a year or millions over a shorter period of time, stealing other people’s money is still a crime.

Nonetheless, the circumstances of the situation may merit more than just the ‘off the top of one’s head’ thought that the person is guilty. “They may not be, and this is precisely why a good criminal defense attorney needs to be consulted if embezzlement charges are about to be laid, or are laid,” commented Daniel H. Wannamaker of Wannamaker Law, in Austin, Texas.

There are two traits that identify this kind of theft as embezzlement – it is not trespassory in nature and a conversion has to happen. It’s not considered to be trespassory if the money or property in question was willingly given to a person to legally take care of it and then that person stole it to use for personal gain.

The conversion part of this equation means the property has been interfered with in some manner, a factor measured by the owner, not the alleged offender. “This means conversion is defined as a loss to the property owner,” added Wannamaker.

Another aspect of embezzlement is that it frequency gets mixed up with larceny, which is also theft. Larceny however is a crime where the criminal seizes control of some property that isn’t his/hers and moves it from where it used to be located. This could refer to physical or intangible things. “In other words, larceny is considered to be trespassory, whereas embezzlement is not,” concluded Wannamaker.

When faced with charges of embezzlement, put in a call to a board certified criminal defense attorney such as Daniel H. Wannamaker of Wannamaker Law in Austin, Texas. His counsel could mean the difference between time in jail and time to enjoy life as a free person.

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