What Is Embezzlement and What Are the Criminal Consequences?

One of the most common white collar crimes is that of embezzlement. In Massachusetts, the crime of embezzlement falls under the general category of larceny offenses, and if an individual is convicted of embezzlement, they could face severe legal consequences, despite the fact that this is a white collar, non-violent crime type.

If you have been charged with embezzlement in Massachusetts, please contact The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski today. We will assist you in building a strong defense and protecting yourself against the harshest of consequences.

Defining Embezzlement in Massachusetts

As stated above, embezzlement falls under the category of larceny offenses per Massachusetts General Laws, Section 30D. According to the law, a person is guilty of embezzlement when they convert the property of another with the intent to steal or embezzle (misappropriate/thieve). In order to prove that a person has committed an act of embezzlement, the prosecution must prove that:

  • The defendant was entrusted with the possession of the property of another party, and was in that party’s trust or confidence;
  • The defendant took the property, did so without the permission of the owner, and did so with the intent to use it for themself; and
  • The defendant did the above with the intent to permanently take the property from its rightful owner.

There are many different examples of embezzlement. For example, the crime of embezzlement can occur as a result of an employee or business owner siphoning off business funds or profits, payroll embezzlement, falsification of overtime records, check kiting (making a series of deposits and withdrawals multiple banks), and more.

Criminal Penalties for Embezzlement

If you are convicted of embezzlement in Massachusetts, you could face serious penalties, including years in prison, and thousands of dollars worth of fines. You will also likely be terminated from your current position of employment, and may struggle to find employment in the future. The crime is a federal crime if it involves any property of the U.S. government, occurs across state lines, or involves federal contracts or securities.

You Need to Work with an Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

Taking money from someone else may not seem like a huge deal, but even if the sum is relatively minor (a few hundred dollars), there could still be serious and long-term consequences for embezzlement. When the sums are greater (thousands or hundreds of thousands) of dollars, or involve federal property, the penalties are even harsher.

At The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski, our experienced Massachusetts white collar crimes lawyer knows how scary criminal charges can be, and how much is on the line for you. We focus on building a strong defense, and securing the best outcome for your case as possible. To learn more about our approach and how we can help, please contact us by phone at (978) 397-0011, or reach us online today. All consultations are offered free of charge.