NJ Embezzlement Lawyers
The experienced criminal defense lawyers at our firm ask those who have been or might unfortunately face such charges read the ensuing blog highlighting what embezzlement is, the penalties New Jersey courts might sentence convicted individuals to, the actions prosecutors must take to prove an accused party engaged in said offense, and strategies defense attorneys might utilize to defend clients against such charges.
Embezzlement occurs when someone given the duty of handling another party’s financial accounts misappropriates said funds for their own personal benefit.
Typically, purported embezzlers are bestowed what is known as a fiduciary responsibility. This means they are entrusted to render decisions and perform actions most befitting the needs of those they serve.
Examples Of Embezzlement
No individual, institution, or business is immune to embezzlement. Oftentimes, news stories about small mom and pop establishments and institutions like houses of worship get ripped off equal to the number of major corporations said crime occurs at.
That said, embezzlement can range from simple and relatively obvious to intricate and much harder to detect. Known schemes include:
In certain cases, embezzlement is performed somewhat out in the open with the perpetrator performing acts like slipping cash out of registers or pocketing money from public tills.
Executing Phony Transfers
Sometimes, those entrusted with money managing duties set up fake accounts, transfer funds to said entities, and eventually use cash placed in them for personal gain.
However, this action is completed under the guise of pertinence to the individual or establishment in question. For example, accused parties might set up a miscellaneous expenses account and transfer funds into said holding.
Ergo, the account seems legitimate and those monitoring such efforts do not consider this behavior questionable or malfeasant.
Creating False Documentation
Under other circumstances, the alleged perpetrator might author false invoices for services performed. Such action gives the impression that money transfers are legitimate.
Occasionally, suspected embezzlers might conspire with entities like contractors or other service providers. As a case in point, the accused party and a construction contractor might formulate phony charges. The embezzler remits such payments and takes a cut of the profit from their co-conspirator.
Sometimes, those employed with the federal government embezzle funds or other holdings. If caught, said subjects will be prosecuted by federal authorities.
Using Assets Other Than Money
In a discernible number of cases, suggested embezzlers may steal valuable assets other than cash. Noted items often embezzled include electronic equipment, vehicles, and real estate holdings.
New Jersey courts consider embezzlement a serious crime and convicted subjects could face significant penalties.
Several factors could play into the specific charges one faces. Arguably, however, the most critical concern is the amount of money the alleged offender is believed to have embezzled.
In cases where the accused is thought to have taken $200 or less, said individual is typically subjected to no more than six months of incarceration and a fine totaling less than $1,000. Naturally, theft of greater value will often equate to steeper punishments.
The most significant punishments, however, are doled out those convicted of funneling $75,000 or more in cash or hard assets. In such circumstances, said subject could expect a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine equaling as much as $150,000.
To win a conviction, prosecutors must demonstrate the following crucial elements:
Prosecutors must demonstrate the individual or establishment levying accusations trusted the defendant and retained their services to perform fiduciary responsibilities.
Illegal Acts Were Committed
Convictions are difficult to earn unless prosecuting officials illustrate that the defendant committed an act of impropriety.
Funds Or Property Were Used For Personal Gain
Moreover, the evidence must clearly show that the accused used cash or other assets taken for their personal joy or betterment.
Intent can be the toughest issue to illustrate. Intent means the accused possessed the desire and motivation to steal from the accusers.
To many, stealing seems like an open and shut instance of serious malfeasance. That said, not every single case of embezzlement is that cut and dried. Adroit criminal defense lawyers might employ arguments including:
Sometimes, the accused embezzler might have acted under duress. For example, an influential or criminal person intimidated the alleged perpetrator into engaging in such actions.
Occasionally, the action’s of an individual ruled mentally ill might explain certain malfeasant behavior.
Not Enough Evidence
An appreciable percentage of embezzlement cases are dismissed because prosecutors simply lack credible evidence to demonstrate said impropriety.
Occasionally, the accused might have charges dismissed or receive less harsh punishments should they repay what they stole.
Embezzlement is a major crime with potentially notable consequences. That said, such charges can be challenged with the assistance of an experienced defense team like ours who have handled similar cases. Therefore, those facing such charges in New Jersey are encouraged to consult with us.