Most property crimes, like burglary and larceny, involve someone physically taking property or money that is not theirs. In some cases, however, property crimes can be committed by someone who has lawful possession of someone else’s property. Embezzlement is such a crime: someone who is lawfully in possession of someone else’s money is expected not to interfere with the real owner’s property rights. If such a person takes some of that money as their own, they can be charged with embezzlement.
The main factor distinguishing embezzlement from other property crimes is that the person accused is allowed, under the law, to be in possession of it. For example, someone who has been appointed to take care of a trust does not own the money in the trust, but is able to manage it so long as they do not take it as their own. Often embezzlement takes the form of the president or treasurer of a company taking investors’ money as their own.
Unlike larceny, where moving someone else’s property even a hair’s width with the intent to take it counts as a crime, it can be more difficult to prove that someone is guilty of embezzlement. When one person is managing another’s money, there are a number of complications that can arise in the relationship between the two. Accusations of embezzlement can be made that are unfounded, or mischaracterize the situation.
If you have been accused of embezzlement, you are entitled to the help of an experienced defense lawyer. Contact the San Jose criminal lawyers at the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C. today at (408) 296-4100.