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What is embezzlement and how can it be proven?

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2024 | White Collar Crimes

Embezzlement is a serious crime that stands out from other types of theft because embezzlers betray trust. Unlike burglars or pickpockets, embezzlers use their trusted positions to steal for personal gain. This blog will explain what embezzlement is and how prosecutors prove it.

What is embezzlement?

As previously shared, embezzlers steal money or property from people who trust them. Different states have different definitions, but the basic idea is the same. For example, North Carolina’s laws list people who are in a position of trust, like an officer or employee of a county, agency of local government or a local board of education.

Proving embezzlement in court

Trust can come through a job, legal assignments, or duties to collect money or property for someone else. To convict someone of embezzlement, prosecutors must prove whether:

  • There was a relationship of trust – One person must rely on the other.
  • An individual obtained property through trust – The defendant must get the property through this trusting relationship.
  • The act was intentional – The act must be on purpose, not a mistake.
  • An individual took or hid property – The defendant must take, transfer, or hide the property.

Legal consequences

Facing embezzlement charges can lead to severe penalties. North Carolina law classifies this crime as a Class C felony if the value of the money or property is $100,000 or more. If the value is less than $100,000, it is a class F felony.

Although it is not mandatory, it is advisable to consult with an attorney. An attorney can provide essential support by offering legal advice, crafting a solid defense, and representing the accused in court.

Embezzlement is a complicated crime that involves breaking someone’s trust. Knowing the details helps you see how serious the charges are and why a strong defense is important. If you or someone you know are facing embezzlement charges, it is essential to take action to safeguard your rights or those of someone you know.