Knowing what is embezzlement law and its common legal penalties has become extremely important due to the growing cases of this offense. This article has information detailing the same.
When a person in charge of property or funds, belonging to some other person or institution, transfers them illegally for his personal advantage, it is termed as embezzlement. In these cases, the person committing the crime is usually given the legal right to possess the property or funds for the purpose of work. Such crimes are on the rise these days and hence having strict penalties has become very essential. Many US states and regions have enacted embezzlement laws for the protection of people from fraudsters.
A Penalty Requires Proof
No person in a democratic setup can be convicted without having sufficient evidence and proof against him. This is also true in case of any serious crime of embezzlement. The person who has suffered loss, because of the culprit must give all the details, right from the beginning, for the investigation agencies to proceed in the right manner.
The first point he will have to prove is that a professional relationship existed between him and the culprit. This can be proved by showing employment letters, offer letters, employment agreement etc. These legal documents should be submitted at the right time to take the case further.
He will also have to prove that his funds were illegally transferred somewhere else, without his permission. This can be shown by presenting to the court, the books of accounts, where there are signs of wrongdoings on part of the person in charge. There have been many cases in which the person appealing for justice is not able to produce relevant documents and the person accused of wrongdoing has gotten a clean chit.
It has been observed that many times, people commit such crimes because they have a fear of losing their job in their minds. This phenomenon is known as duress and this is not related to the embezzlement of funds for personal advantage. In this case, the court will free the accused person from the charges laid against him. In case the culprit was not in a proper mental condition due to the effect of heavy medication while committing the crime, the court may not proclaim the punishment meant for embezzlement. In cases when it is carried out without the intention of causing harm or loss to the other person, the charges against the person accused of crime may be dropped by the court.
The punishment for embezzlement is very strict. However, over the years it has been observed that the number of people getting involved in such crimes has not declined. It can attract a jail term which may extend from ten years to twenty years in extreme cases. A person might be kept on a probation period which may be for three or five years and even more in some cases. Fines up to $500,000 could also be levied on people caught in the offense. At times, these people are ordered to do fixed hours of community service as a penalty for the wrongdoings.
The method of proving embezzlement is quite straightforward. You need to file a case in the court against the employee who you believe has cheated on you. Then, there will be hearings where both the sides will be given an equal opportunity to put forth their views and defend themselves. If you have the right kind of documents as proofs and a good attorney, the chances of winning automatically rise.
Having a good lawyer can help you to win the case against a criminal who has caused you a financial loss. Over the years, it has been observed that proving such crimes has gotten quite difficult and you must have patience and be ready to take up the challenge.