Embezzlement is a white-collar crime that involves stealing money or property from an employer, client or someone else who has placed their trust in you. Unlike larceny, embezzlers take advantage of their relationship to the property owner in order to legally get access to the property. However, they then illegally use the funds or property for their own purposes.
State Embezzlement Charge
Embezzlement can be a felony in both North Carolina and South Carolina. There are several types of embezzlement offenses, and your particular charges may depend on the value of the property and your relationship to the property owner.
In North Carolina, embezzlement of $100,000 or more can be charged as a Class C felony in some cases. This can result in a prison sentence of 58 to 73 months. In South Carolina, the embezzlement of public funds can result in a prison sentence of up to ten years. Smaller embezzlement cases may be charged as misdemeanors, but can still leave a black mark on your criminal record if you are convicted.
The key element of embezzlement is the trust placed in the perpetrator by the property owner. This could involve a retail employee who is trusted to access a cash register to accept payments from customers and make a change, or it could involve a public employee who is in charge of disbursing hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funds.
Federal Embezzlement Charges
Embezzlement may also be charged as a federal crime in some cases. For example, embezzlement from an organization that receives funds from the federal government could lead to a federal embezzlement charge.
In addition to a potential prison sentence, embezzlement can be punished by steep fines and a requirement to pay restitution to the victim. Because embezzlement is a crime involving dishonesty, it may also have repercussions when you are seeking employment or attempting to receive any type of professional license.
If you’ve been charged with embezzlement, contact a criminal defense attorney for assistance. The outcome of your case could have serious consequences, including loss of your freedom or ability to obtain gainful employment.
King Law handles criminal defense matters in North and South Carolina, drug possession, DWI, and embezzlement cases. Call 888-748-KING (5464) today to set up a consultation with one of our dedicated criminal defense attorneys.