Factors and defenses for embezzlement charges

| Jan 22, 2021 | Firm News |

Handling vast amounts of asset data and finance regulations requires attention to detail, and if you misstep, you may leave yourself open for a Mississippi lawsuit. Whether the error was yours or someone else’s, the consequences could negatively impact the rest of your life.

According to the Corporate Finance Institute, embezzlement involves a person obtaining assets legally but using them for purposes other than intended.

Embezzlement factors

The prosecution must prove several factors before bringing embezzlement charges. The first is that a fiduciary relationship must exist between the accused and another party. If you face charges, you must have the responsibility for taking care of an asset, such as property or money, and the accuser must rely on you for that care. You must have acquired the property directly through the relationship and taken ownership. If the asset in question transfers from you to someone else, that may also indicate embezzlement.

Embezzlement is a type of fraud that cannot happen accidentally. The prosecution must show actions proving your intent was not lawful.

Embezzlement defenses

Embezzlement cases are often complex, as they encompass a variety of elements. If the government has insufficient evidence, such as a lack of paper trail, a jury may find you innocent beyond a reasonable doubt. In cases where the defendant believes themselves at risk of significant loss unless they took specific embezzlement actions, a duress defense may be effective. Other defenses include the following:

  • Entrapment
  • Incapacity or insanity
  • Repayment
  • Plea of Nolo Contendere
  • Statute of limitations expired

Intent is the linchpin for a conviction. If you believe you were the owner of the property in question, you may use this point as part of your defense. White-collar crimes such as embezzlement, fraud, RICO, computer hacking and forgery have defenses that may help you avoid a felony conviction and move on with the rest of your life.