Embezzlement is known as a white collar crime. It is defined as taking something that has been entrusted to you, under Penal Code 503 PC. It is more frequently seen in employment situations. The difference between embezzlement and theft is the trust.
What is considered Embezzlement
If there was a relationship of trust with the victim, were entrusted with something, and that if you intended to take the property from the victim for yourself, then it is considered embezzlement. Relationship of trust must be there, if there is no trust in the crime, then the crime itself is considered a theft. Being entrusted with property also is a factor within an embezzlement case, it is property itself that is being “stolen” from whoever was the victim.
An example of this would be a cashier working for a store, if that cashier was given $100 for a paid merchandise and keeps the bill instead of putting it into the register, then it is considered embezzlement. Related offenses can include burglary, receiving stolen property, and forgery.
Punishment for Embezzlement
Embezzlement is a serious crime that can lead to either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the amount of goods that was taken. In either case, you can see jail time and fines. If the situation was that the property was valued at under $50 however, the maximum charge would only be a $250 fine.
How to avoid Embezzlement charges
A person can be acting with good faith and intentions and still be charged for embezzlement. To fight this, you must provide evidence that you did not have malicious intent with the entrusted property and that it was being used for the good of the victim. Having an attorney on your side can help with the investigation and organization of said evidence. That evidence is then used to show the prosecutor that you were acting within good faith and were using the property properly.