Facing embezzlement charges can be a frightening proposition. However, a conviction can have devastating consequences. Hefty fines and significant time in a state or federal prison are only the beginning. Once you complete the sentence, you may lose civil liberties and have difficulty finding a job that takes advantage of your skills. Getting out in front of the issue might help you avoid or reduce the charges.
According to Texas Penal Code, embezzlement is a form of theft. This is a broad category that includes theft in various forms.
Types of embezzlement
The perpetrators of this crime might involve an employee who steals goods or services from a company. It might also consist of transferring funds from a business account to an employee’s personal account. Other types of embezzlement include the following:
- Bank/Mortgage fraud
- Healthcare/Medicare fraud
- Government/Tax fraud
- Securities fraud and financial schemes
These types of crimes involve cheating, lying or deception rather than force.
Defenses against embezzlement charges
The prosecutor must prove your intent to commit the crime for a conviction. The absence of intent may shine the light on mistakes you made you made while fulfilling your job duties. Lack of intent may also become a viable defense if you did not know your actions were criminal.
One of the most common defenses is the lack of adequate proof. The prosecutor may have circumstantial evidence relating to your actions or intentions. In some situations, particular facts may not prove the intent to commit embezzlement and officials might lack direct evidence.
Entrapment may be a viable defense if you can prove a government agency baited you into committing embezzlement. If someone else forced you into the illegal act, you might claim duress. Understanding your options can help you mount the most effective defense based on the details of your case.