Embezzlement is a type of theft that occurs when one or more people exercise control over some or all of another party’s cash, property or other assets. If the person in control of the cash, property or other assets fraudulently removes at least some of it without permission, that person has committed embezzlement.
Embezzlement typically occurs in business settings, such as when an employee handles money for an employer. It involves incidents where people steal property that they gain access to and have legal control over because of their positions. Property is generally defined as cash, personal assets, real property and virtually anything else of value.
When the property owner agrees to pay another party to oversee and protect those assets, a fiduciary agreement is in place. A finance executive with the authority to manage a company’s funds is an example of someone exercising fiduciary duty over another party’s property. Sometimes, those agreements get violated, accidentally or otherwise.
Facing Embezzlement Charges in New York?
Embezzlement is aggressively prosecuted in New York with the possibility of prison time and fines for accused individuals. Penalties vary based on the amount of property or money stolen, with the most severe charge carrying as much as 25 years in prison. New York’s state larceny laws determine the level of criminal charges and potential penalties for those accused of embezzlement.
Embezzlement charges are often bundled together with other types of related financial offenses such as credit card fraud, money laundering, identity theft and wire fraud. As a result, it is essential for businessmen, professionals and others targeted by the federal government to have experienced legal representation to fight the charges.
Because New York courts recognize money as “monetary property,” embezzlement can fall under larceny law. Larceny refers to theft of money or property from the rightful owner without their consent, with the intent to keep it. It is categorized in five classes that include petit larceny and four degrees of grand larceny, depending on the property value involved.
Differences between Petit Larceny and Grand Larceny in New York
Under New York law, theft of any property worth less than $1,000 is petit larceny. It is a misdemeanor offense that carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and is often charged with other types of larceny offenses that are more serious. Petit larceny occurs when someone intentionally takes another person’s money or property without the owner’s permission. Shoplifting is an example of petit larceny.
Grand larceny consists of theft involving property valued at $1,000 or more. Depending on the degree of larceny, the accused faces between four to 25 years in prison. All four degrees of grand larceny are felonies. The offenses get increasingly serious depending on the property value and type, as well as from where or whom it was taken. Unlike petit larceny, grand larceny charges are associated with stolen property that has a specific value and type.
The least serious of such charges is grand larceny in the fourth degree, a class E felony that carries a prison sentence of up to four years. It involves a relatively low-level theft of property worth more than $1,000 but equal to or less than $3,000. Embezzling more than $1 million in property, though, likely would be grand larceny in the first degree and result in a class B felony charge, which carries a prison sentence of up to 25 years.
Contact an Experienced New York Embezzlement Lawyer
An experienced New York embezzlement attorney is a strong asset for those accused of theft and violating fiduciary duty agreements. The complex nature of such charges makes it virtually impossible to handle embezzlement accusations without skilled legal representation.
At Brill Legal Group, we provide aggressive representation to individuals accused of embezzlement in New York. We are knowledgeable about the statutory requirements of each larceny charge and understand the stakes involved. If you are facing embezzlement charges or are being investigated for any other type of white collar crime, contact our criminal defense lawyers today.
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year in our Hauppauge, Hempstead or Manhattan offices. Your call will always be answered, no matter what time of day. Call 888-315-9841.