Massachusetts Embezzlement Charges

While white collar crimes may not typically be penalized as seriously as are violent crimes, a white collar criminal conviction can result in large fees, prison time, and a black mark on one’s criminal record. One type of white collar crime that certainly warrants legal representation should a person be charged with it is embezzlement. At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, our white collar criminal defense attorney has experience working on embezzlement cases and can aggressively represent you. 

How Is Embezzlement Defined in Massachusetts? 

Embezzlement is a type of larceny, or theft, crime in Massachusetts. In fact, embezzlement is so similar to the Massachusetts crime of larceny by stealing that there is only one key difference: for an embezzlement conviction, the prosecution must establish that the defendant had a legal right to have the property in their possession prior to stealing it. As such, embezzlement often—but not always—occurs in an employer-employee capacity where an employee, due to their legal relationship with their employer, is in the lawful possession of financial assets—whether that’s money in a cash register or high-value funds. 

Penalties for Embezzlement in Massachusetts

The penalties for embezzlement in Massachusetts vary depending upon the value of assets involved in the crime. For property valued under $250, the crime is a misdemeanor. For higher-valued property, penalties can involve years of incarceration and large fines and, in some cases, the crime is classified as a felony. 

What the Prosecution Needs to Prove in an Embezzlement Case

In order for the prosecution to secure a conviction of “guilty,” it must establish three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant was entrusted with possession of property belonging to another while in a position of trust or confidence;
  2. The defendant took, hid, or converted the property to their own use; and
  3. The defendant took, hid, or converted the property to their own use with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of the property. 

Remember, the burden is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense is not charged with proving their innocence. A good defense attorney will poke holes in the prosecution’s arguments to sow doubt in the juror’s minds. 

Why You Need a Defense Attorney 

If you are facing embezzlement charges, you may be looking at years behind bars, the inability to pursue certain employment opportunities in the future, large finds, and a mark on your personal and professional reputation. When you work with a skilled criminal defense attorney, your attorney will advocate for your rights and help you to secure the best case outcome possible. To schedule a consultation with a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney you can trust, call The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski at (978) 397-0011 today or send us a message online.