Gillette Embezzlement Defense Attorneys
Embezzlement is a white collar crime. It involves the intentional misappropriation of assets that have been entrusted to the embezzler. It is a type of fraud in which the embezzler has obtained the assets legally and has the right to use them but uses them for unintended purposes.
If you are facing Campbell County embezzlement charges, consult with a skilled white collar crime defense attorney as soon as possible. Our Gillette trial lawyers have experience defending clients in embezzlement and other white collar crime cases.
Embezzlers can be held both criminally and civilly liable for their offenses. Embezzlement can be either a misdemeanor or a felony in Wyoming. It is charged as a misdemeanor when the crime involves money or property worth less than $1,000 and charged as a felony when it involves more than $1,000. Penalties for misdemeanor embezzlement may include a jail sentence of up to six months, a fine of up to $750, or both. When this crime is charged as a felony, it carries penalties including up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
The crime of embezzlement involves a betrayal of duty or trust. Four elements must be present in every embezzlement case:
- Fiduciary relationship exists between the two parties (reliance by one party on the other).
- Defendant has acquired property through that fiduciary relationship.
- Defendant’s actions were intentional and not the result of error.
- Defendant took ownership of the property (at least temporarily), destroyed, or hid the property, or transferred it to someone else.
Embezzlement often occurs in an employer/employee relationship, in which the owner of the property gives access and authority to the violator. This crime can be committed in any relationship in which a person entrusts someone else to manage or safeguard assets. Embezzlement can be committed in any number of ways. Some types of embezzlement include:
- Payroll fraud: A manager involved in overseeing payroll for a large company may add a family member (who does not work for the company) to the payroll, so that person is drawing pay from the company. The manager then cashes the checks secretly to increase his or her income.
- Kickbacks: Those involved in purchasing for an organization may have an opportunity to embezzle money through kickbacks. A vendor who wants the business of the organization may agree to give the person who handles purchasing money directly in exchange for purchasing certain products from that vendor. This may not be in the best interests of the organization if the vendor’s prices are inflated.
- Siphoning: This involves pocketing money from a cash register at a store or a restaurant without creating a discrepancy between the cash drawer and the computer.
- Check kiting: An embezzler makes deposits and withdrawals between several banks using checks that grow gradually in value. This method takes advantage of the amount of time it takes a deposit to clear the bank.
- Lapping: Employees altering accounts receivables to hide stolen cash are lapping. This method involves taking cash, using a subsequent receivables payment to cover the theft, then using yet another receivables payment to cover the previous transaction, and so on.
If you have been charged with embezzlement, you need an experienced Gillette white collar crime defense lawyer to represent you. Our trial lawyers at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. can help protect your rights and build a strong case against the charges. We have experience investigating and analyzing financial records, working with forensic accountants, and negotiating with prosecutors. Call us (307) 257-7800 to schedule a free case strategy session for your defense against allegations of embezzlement.
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