What is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement involves someone taking money or property that doesn't belong to them after being given some level of authority over the money or property, like in a business. There are many different ways to do this, like taking money that was meant for a different purpose or making up fake financial reports to trick investors. Embezzlement is a type of white-collar crime that is different from regular theft or fraud because the accused has been given some kind of special power or trust over the money or property. If you are being investigated for federal embezzlement, it is important to speak to an experienced federal criminal defense attorney right away.
What Are the Common Types of Embezzlement?
There are several different types of embezzlement that are prohibited by federal law; the most common types of federal embezzlement include:
18 USC 641 – This involves the embezzlement of public money, property, or records
18 USC 642 – This involves the embezzlement of tools and materials for counterfeiting purposes
18 USC 643 – This involves the embezzlement of public money by federal employees
18 USC 644 – This involves the embezzlement of public funds that are not owed to the individual
18 USC 656 – This involves the embezzlement of money by an employee of a banking institution
There are varying levels of punishment for a violation of any of these federal laws, including misdemeanor and felony convictions which can lead to potential prison time, restitution, and hefty fines.
What Are the Potential Penalties for Embezzlement?
The level of a federal embezzlement charge an individual will face depends on the amount of money or property taken and what type of money or property was taken. For example, under 18 USC 641, if an individual takes more than $1,000 worth of money or any other valuable thing from the federal government, the person can face a felony charge and can go to prison for up to 10 years and have to pay a fine of up to $250,000. If the individual takes less than $1,000 worth of money or any other valuable thing from the federal government, the person can face a misdemeanor charge and can go to jail for up to 1 year and have to pay a fine of up to $100,000.
Make sure you understand the thresholds for your allegations and what type of potential penalty you can be facing. Knowing this information is important in properly assessing your case.
What Are Some Common Defenses Against an Embezzlement Charge?
There are several different defenses that can be used if you are charged with a federal embezzlement crime. The prosecutor has to prove that you meant to take more money or property than you were allowed to and that you planned to keep it for yourself or use it in a way that was not allowed. Embezzlement is a specific intent crime. This means that you must have had the criminal intent to specifically deprive the owner of their money or property. A major defense is that of mistake. If you mistakenly took the money or property without intending to keep it from the owner, then you did not commit an embezzlement crime, and this can be used as a complete defense.
Other defenses include a lack of evidence or Constitutional violations by law enforcement in acquiring evidence. If the police illegally obtained evidence against you, then a motion can be filed with the court to suppress the evidence and potentially dismiss the case. Make sure that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney to zero in on what type of defense is most appropriate in your case. It is also important to speak with an attorney who has experience defending federal criminal cases. The defenses available to you will be based on the facts and circumstances of your case.
In What Court Will Your Case Be Heard?
Federal criminal cases are processed in federal District Courts in many locations across the United States. In New Jersey, there is one federal District and three court locations. If you are accused of a crime in New Jersey, then the case will be processed in the court that has jurisdiction over where the alleged crime took place.
If you disagree with a decision in federal district court, then you can file an appeal with the appropriate appellate court. In a New Jersey District Court, any appeals must go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The only remaining court higher than that is the United States Supreme Court. You do not have an automatic right to have your case heard in the United States Supreme Court as they choose which cases they want to hear and decide.
How Hiring an Experienced Attorney Can Help
If you are facing criminal charges, then make sure that you have an attorney with specific criminal defense experience. If you are charged with a crime, then an experienced attorney can help you understand the case against you. An attorney can also evaluate your case's strengths and weaknesses and help you decide whether you should go to trial or work out a resolution. If you want to make a resolution, then your attorney can negotiate it for you. Your attorney can also tell you whether you should take the deal or not, although the choice is always yours. Call us today!
Why Hiring Lento Law is the Right Choice
If you are being investigated or prosecuted federally for embezzlement, then make sure that you speak to an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped people defend countless criminal charges in several jurisdictions. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn why hiring Lento Law is the right choice to help defend your federal case.