Although the components of theft are the same under state law, breach of trust is typically mentioned when the alleged theft includes physical property or when the crime is carried out by a lower-ranking employee, such as a cashier, bookkeeper, or low-level management. If you are facing embezzlement allegations, a North Carolina embezzlement lawyer can aggressively argue on your behalf and assist you in uncovering potential defenses that may help you reach a favorable outcome in your case. Contact King Law today to speak with an experienced theft crimes attorney.
What Is Embezzlement in the State of North Carolina?
Fundamentally, embezzlement is the theft or misappropriation of monies that have been entrusted to one’s care or trust, as well as the concealment of funds with the intention of misappropriating them. This might include anything from swiping money from a cash register or writing fake checks from the firm to oneself, to diverting money from a minor’s trust fund for personal gain. Stealing assets and goods are also included.
While the state prosecutes most embezzlement cases, the Department of Justice has the authority to do so when the victim is a federal agency or entity with broad national interests, such as a federal contractor, or when the embezzlement occurs beyond state boundaries. If you are facing federal accusations, you will require the services of a federal criminal defense attorney.
Elements of the Embezzlement Crime
The main distinction between embezzlement and larceny is that, at the time of the accused’s arrest for embezzlement, they are trusted with the money or property as a result of their position. The following aspects of the offense must be proven:
- The accused and the victim shared a fiduciary relationship.
- Through their fiduciary connection, the accused gained money or property.
- The accused’s conduct was deliberate.
- The accused seized possession of the property or transferred it to someone else.
- A fiduciary relationship does not need to be formalized in order to exist.
Individuals with whom a fiduciary connection can be considered include:
- Employee or corporate officer
- Financial Consultant
- Adjuster for insurance
- Officer in a non-profit organization
- A family member tasked with the care of a family member or the executor of his estate or trust
- An official from the public or government
As can be observed, there is often an employee-employer connection where the offender was entrusted with the victim’s money or property. The offender must have meant to deprive the property owner of being found guilty. For a conviction, just temporary intent is required.
North Carolina and Federal Embezzlement Charges
Depending on the circumstances, embezzlement in North Carolina might be charged as either a state or a federal white-collar felony. It might be a simple, low-cost crime or a multimillion-dollar plan. Federal embezzlement allegations may entail either direct or indirect misappropriation of government cash or property by a government employee.
Federal embezzlement charges, like state charges in North Carolina, are based on the individual participating in the operation and the value of the sums or assets embezzled. A federal felony is committed when more than $1,000 is embezzled, and the maximum sentence is ten years in jail and a fine of $250,000. A federal misdemeanor is defined as embezzling $1,000 or less and is punished by up to a year in jail and a fine of $100,000. An order to pay restitution in the same amount as what was embezzled is often issued along with a conviction for theft of public monies.
When to Hire a North Carolina Embezzlement Lawyer
You should seek the representation of an embezzlement attorney at the first hint of an inquiry or charge. Not only is it crucial to have legal counsel when providing answers so that you do not implicate yourself, but the sooner you hire a lawyer to defend you in court, the more time they will have to prepare a defense or find a potential plea bargain.
Dealing with embezzlement accusations or claims that you exploited your position for financial benefit in North Carolina can be difficult. Your image, job, and, eventually, freedom will be at stake, but no case is doomed. By hiring a skilled embezzlement attorney, you may protect yourself and take proactive measures to strengthen your case.
Much will depend on the prosecution’s ability to prove that you intentionally used your position to get money or other assets, which will depend on the specifics of your embezzlement case. This can be a time-consuming operation that relies significantly on lengthy paper trails and complex financial information. In circumstances when no genuine misconduct or illegitimate benefit was intended, harmless miscalculations or resource allocations might be misconstrued.
Speak With a North Carolina Embezzlement Defense Attorney
Being arrested can be a very frightening time, and learning that you will be subject to a criminal justice system prosecution can be much scarier. The experience itself, rather than just the case’s outcome, may profoundly affect your life. This is why it is in your best interests to speak with a skilled and accomplished criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can.
You require the services of a skilled criminal defense lawyer in North Carolina if you are under investigation or have been accused of embezzlement. We have a devoted and skilled staff at King Law to fight for your rights and defend you against criminal allegations. To get started, call us at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING, or fill out our contact form.