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Accused of embezzlement? Here’s what you need to know

Some people in Kentucky may mistakenly believe that white collar crimes are not as serious as other types of criminal charges. This is not true, especially since white collar crimes such as embezzlement typically involve significant amounts of money or property. Those who have been charged with embezzlement should be sure that they understand the extent of these accusations as well as the possible legal repercussions.

What is embezzlement?

Embezzlement is different from theft or larceny charges. Although these charges all involve the unlawful taking of another person’s property, in embezzlement, the person accused of such first had legal access to the property. There are actually four elements present in a typical embezzlement case, including that the defendant allegedly:

  • Had a fiduciary relationship with the other party
  • Had lawful possession of another person’s property
  • Took or converted that property for his or her own use
  • Had no intention of giving it back

Is it always about money?

Since embezzlement typically takes place in office or corporate settings, accusations often involve money. However, there are many cases when embezzlement does not involve money at all. Things like company vehicles or computers can also be converted to personal property.

Although embezzlement is most frequently associated with executives, virtually anyone in any position can be accused of wrongfully converting a property for personal use. Legal consequences for embezzlement can be steep too, ranging from hefty fines to significant time behind bars. Defendants in Kentucky who are eager to minimize the impact of these charges on their lives may want to consider reaching out to a knowledgeable attorney for more in-depth guidance on their options.