Federal embezzlement or employee theft charges have the potential to derail your employment opportunities and can also result in significant prison sentences. Someone convicted of these charges may be forced to pay fines and restitution for the property taken, which can pose a real hardship on an individual and their family with limited employment opportunities. Fortunately for those accused of these crimes, the embezzlement lawyers and employee theft lawyers at the Law Offices of Brandon Sample has represented many defendants in similar situations and has in-depth knowledge of the criminal justice system, procedures, and embezzlement punishments.
Understanding Federal Embezzlement & Employee Theft Charges
The crimes of embezzlement and employee theft are distinct, but they are certainly related. Embezzlement is a specific form of employee theft. If you think of employee theft as a broader category of crimes that includes any form of stealing from your place of employment, embezzlement is one of those many crimes that could be committed by an employee. What makes this crime unique is that it is done by someone who is entrusted to handle financial responsibilities for their employer. These crimes involve an employee who was given access to and entrusted with an organization’s money or property and the unauthorized taking of all or part of that money or property for the employee’s personal gain. If charged with either of these offenses, it is imperative that you retain the services of an embezzlement lawyer or an employee theft lawyer.
When are Federal Prosecutors Involved in Embezzlement and Employee Theft Charges?
While every state has laws against embezzlement and employee theft, federal charges are involved when the theft includes taking property from a federal government organization. For example, if an employee of the federal government takes property from his job, this would implicate federal employee theft laws. In addition, if an employee takes property from a corporation that is contracted on behalf of the federal government, this would also rise to the level of federal embezzlement or employee theft charges. As with many federal criminal statutes, a wide range of conduct can be deemed criminal in the right light and within the proper circumstances.
What are the Different Categories of Federal Embezzlement & Employee Theft?
Federal law classifies embezzlement or employee theft offenses according to the type of property taken or the type of government organization involved. These types of property span a wide variety and can be illicitly stolen by a wide swath of individuals. The categories of activities by an employee of the federal government covered under the federal statute include:
- Court officers
- Custodians misusing public funds
- Depositaries failing to safeguard deposits
- Disbursing officer
- Theft by a bank examiner
- Embezzlement by employees of a bank, lending, credit, or insurance institution
- Property mortgaged or pledged to farm credit agencies
- Solicitation or use of gifts
- Embezzlement from an employee benefit plan
- Programs receiving federal funds
- Theft of livestock
- Theft of major artwork
- Embezzlement in connection with health care
It is possible for an organization to be charged with federal embezzlement or theft from the federal government. If you serve in an officer capacity or have a supervisory role in relation to any activity involving theft that the government accuses an organization of, it is in your best interest to seek out the services of an embezzlement lawyer or employee theft lawyer as soon as you learn of the government investigation or charges so that you can be sure you are not doing anything to implicate yourself personally in the criminal case against the organization. This is true even if you think you are only involved in an indirect or limited fashion in the activity that the government is investigating or prosecuting.
One of the most important factors in the severity of the prison sentence or fine imposed on someone convicted of federal embezzlement or employee theft offenses is the value of the property that the government shows the defendant has taken from the company. Fines and prison sentences generally increase the higher the value of the property stolen by the employee. In addition to whatever prison sentence may be ordered, a federal district court judge may decide to levy a fine up to two times the amount of the property value that the individual defendant or organization is shown to have taken. These embezzlement punishments show just how important it is to hire the services of an employee theft lawyer or embezzlement lawyer as soon as the issue arises.
Pursuant to 18 USC 654, the taking of government property valued at $1,000 or less is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine not to exceed more than $100,000. If the defendant is convicted of taking property valued at more than $1,000, he may serve up to 10 years in federal prison and can be fined up to $250,000. The embezzlement punishment can be even worse when considering restitution and other aggravating factors.
Experienced Employee Theft Lawyers and Embezzlement Lawyers
Being charged or convicted of federal embezzlement or employee theft offenses can ruin your career as well as your personal life. Contact the Law Offices of Brandon Sample as soon as possible at 802-444-4357 (HELP) for an initial appointment to discuss your federal embezzlement or employee theft case. Talk to the embezzlement lawyers and employee theft lawyers at Brandon Sample PLC today about all of the viable options for your defenses to these serious charges and put yourself on the right path to fighting for your freedom. Our firm has considerable experience in such matters and can assist you in mounting an intelligent and effective defense. We can also assist you in mitigating the extent of your potential embezzlement punishment.