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How is embezzlement different than theft?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2022 | Theft Crimes |

Both embezzlement and theft can involve taking money from a business – but that does not mean they’re exactly the same crime, and it’s very important to understand the intricacies of both if you’re facing accusations.

Embezzlement tends to be more calculated, and it depends on the person’s position in the business. In some ways, it is a form of fraud. The individual is accused of using their employment and a position of trust to fraudulently take money to which they were never entitled through some kind of subterfuge. This is much different than simple forms of theft that may involve threats or brute force.

A more complicated process

Embezzlement can also be much more complicated. It often involves tactics designed to cover up the theft.

For instance, perhaps a person working at a business is in charge of a financial account, and millions of dollars move through that account every month. They realize that they could probably skim a small percentage off of that money and no one would notice in a large pile of transactions.

They transfer that money into their own account, and then they alter the business’s books to hide the missing dollars. This is a long and complicated process, but their intent is that no one will ever discover that they’ve been embezzling money. Since embezzlement tends to involve multiple acts of theft, the cover-up is often necessary to keep the money rolling in without anybody noticing that some dollars are missing.

This can create complex cases

As a result, many embezzlement cases are vastly more complex than those involving simple theft cases. There’s a lot of paperwork involved, the amounts of money being discussed may be very large, and it’s quite important for you to understand all of the legal steps that you can take when you’re facing these charges. If you’ve been accused of embezzlement, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help.