Embezzlement in Oklahoma has severe penalties. It’s a white-collar crime, which means it’s non-violent and committed for financial gain. However, the legal system treats it just as seriously as any other criminal activity. If someone steals from their employer or organization, that’s embezzlement, but it’s not as simple as many people imagine, like stealing money from a cash register.
What counts as embezzlement?
Embezzlement encompasses a broad range of actions. Typically, it starts legally. A person has legal access to a company’s or organization’s funds and has a responsibility to use those funds in specific ways. The situation could result in the white-collar criminal charge of embezzlement if that person fails to use the funds as required.
Examples of embezzlement
Though some forms of embezzlement are obvious, not all of them are. For instance, engaging in other business on company time is an example of embezzlement. A company might see that as time theft. Taking company supplies, like pens, can also be embezzlement. Though most companies won’t notice a single missing pen, employees technically don’t have the right to take such things home.
Embezzlement has many other guises. These are just some of them:
- Inappropriately using expense accounts
- Forging checks
- Creating fake payments to fake vendors
- Overbilling clients
- Getting more than one reimbursement for the same expense
- Voiding sales but taking the customer’s money
- Taking money off the top of cash deposits
- Stealing fundraiser money
- Taking equipment
- Stealing products
- Lying about overtime
- Committing corporate espionage
- Securing a line of credit in the company’s name
If someone has accused you of embezzlement, severe consequences might follow, but there are numerous ways to defend against embezzlement charges. You might benefit from contacting a lawyer with experience in defending against white-collar crime charges.