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How embezzlement differs from theft

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2023 | Crimes

Embezzlement is a type of theft. It specifically focuses on businesses, and that theft comes from within. Although embezzlement could involve tangible assets, it usually involves someone taking money or other financial assets that they were not supposed to benefit from in order to support their own financial aims.

There are some major ways in which embezzlement differs from other types of theft. It’s important to know how this crime “works,” especially if you are under investigation for embezzlement or have been charged with this kind of wrongdoing.

An offender is in a position of responsibility

First and foremost, traditional instances of theft – such as a home robbery – involve outside sources. But embezzlement is a type of theft that, as noted above, comes work from within an organization. The person who carries it out has responsibility for the funds that they then steal.

Embezzlement is a type of misappropriation

Another key differentiator is the fact that embezzlement generally involves misappropriation of funds, in addition to their outright theft. Someone was allowed to access that money or even transfer it to a different location. But they simply did so in a way that was not authorized. For example, maybe an individual was supposed to transfer money between corporate bank accounts, but they transferred a portion of the money to a personal bank account. They are abusing their position of responsibility, but they were given that responsibility – and access to the account – to start with.

An offender may try to cover their actions up

Finally, most types of theft do not get covered up as an individual who commits a robbery simply hopes they will not be identified. But with embezzlement, the focus is often on hiding the crime from view and hoping that it goes undiscovered. For instance, a person who transfers money out of a corporate account may also alter the books to try to hide the loss of those funds.

If you’ve been accused of embezzlement, these charges could have very serious ramifications for both your personal life and your career. Be sure you know what legal options you have at your disposal as you begin working with a legal professional to construct the strongest possible defense on your behalf.



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