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The crime of embezzlement is outlined in the California Penal Code under Section 503 as a misappropriation of funds entrusted to an individual. This means that people from all walks of life and in all sorts of different positions of power over money could face embezzlement charges if they are accused of appropriating that money in the wrong way, especially for the purposes of personal financial gain. If you need an embezzlement lawyer, we can take your case and help you explore your legal options.
Because embezzlement is regarded as a form of theft, in the state of California almost all embezzlement cases are prosecuted as either petit theft (involving less than 950 dollars) or grand theft (involving more than 950 dollars), and cases treated as grand theft could be prosecuted as either misdemeanors or felonies depending on various factors related to the circumstances of the alleged crime. Some cases of embezzlement could involve breaking federal laws, and these cases would be considered federal offenses instead of (or as well as) state offenses.
Embezzlement is defined in a broad way under state law, and as such, there are a variety of situations in which California Penal Code 503 can be broken and a person could be charged with a crime.
Example 1: Embezzlement by a conservator
If a person has guardianship over an adult relative who is seriously disabled or otherwise no longer able to handle their own finances and they use their power over that relative’s money to transfer funds to their own banking account for personal use, this could be charged as embezzlement and prosecuted as either petit theft or grand theft, depending on the amount of funds transferred.
Example 2: Embezzlement by cashier
If a person employed by a payday loan supplier is entrusted with dispensing funds to customers and uses that power to take cash from the cash drawer at their window to use to buy lunch one day, this could be charged as embezzlement and would likely be a misdemeanor case prosecuted as petit theft due to the small dollar value of the embezzled funds.
Example 3: Embezzlement by family employee
If a person working for their family’s small business is entrusted with taking daily earnings to the bank for deposit each evening and skims cash off the top of each deposit before recording the total earnings and depositing the remaining funds, they could be charged with embezzlement, and the manner in which the case was prosecuted would depend on the total value of the skimmed funds over time.
We are here to help you if you need an embezzlement lawyer in El Segundo or anywhere else in the greater Los Angeles area. Our experienced attorneys are familiar with state and federal laws regarding embezzlement, and we can help you fight your charges in the court of law. We offer our clients the promise of courtroom excellence, and we will go to bat for you so that we can negotiate your case until a satisfying outcome is reached. Call now for a free consultation.