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Embezzlement is a type of theft

When hearing the word embezzlement, one's mind might turn to cases reported in the news -- typically Ponzi schemes -- where the person responsible bilked unsuspecting clients out of hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Embezzlement is a crime that does not have to be that big, though, and it does not always involve the theft of money. What exactly is embezzlement, and what is needed for prosecutors in Texas to obtain a conviction in an embezzlement case?

The definition for embezzlement is, in short, accessing another's assets and using them for one's own personal gain. This type of theft is often seen in the workplace, though it is not inclusive to such environments. Examples of embezzlement include:

  • The Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme
  • Bank tellers or cashiers pocketing money
  • Falsifying records
  • Paying a non-existent employee
  • Taking company property -- such as laptops, phones or cars

These are just a few examples, as there really are so many different ways to embezzle money and property. Of course, in order for one to be convicted of such activity, prosecuting attorneys have quite a few things that they must prove. These are:

  • A fiduciary relationship between the accused and the victim
  • Assets illegally acquired through the relationship
  • Taking ownership of the assets of passing them on to someone else
  • Taking the property or money intentionally and for one's personal gain

This is a lot to prove, and doing so is not an easy task for prosecuting attorneys. Those in Texas who are facing embezzlement or other theft charges can turn to an experienced criminal defense attorney in order to help them fight any accusations made against them. With the right help, it may be possible to achieve a case dismissal or seek a reduction in charges and any associated consequences.

Source: FindLaw, "Embezzlement", Accessed on Nov. 15, 2017

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John M. Petruzzi, Attorney at Law
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Houston, Texas 77056

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