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.