California state law defines the crime of embezzlement as the misuse or misappropriation of funds or goods that have been entrusted to you, either in a professional capacity or in a personal capacity. Facing embezzlement accusations can be intimidating, but you have the right to retain defense counsel in court so you can fight the charges that have been brought up against you. If you would like to speak to an embezzlement defense attorney, contact Okabe and Haushalter. We specialize in embezzlement defense and have offices located throughout Los Angeles county.
Not every case of misused money qualifies as the crime of embezzlement. Sneaking a dollar bill out of an acquaintance’s wallet may be a crime, but it is not embezzlement. Here are a few examples of how embezzlement may manifest.
A person works at a check-cashing and payday loan business processing money. At the end of their shift, they slip a few small bills from their money drawer into their personal wallet with no intention of ever paying it back. This is embezzlement because the money was entrusted to the employee and the employee misappropriated those funds into their own wallet.
A person has been declared the conservator of the accounts of a disabled relative who is no longer capable of looking after their best financial interests. The conservator then proceeds to skim small amounts from their relative’s various financial accounts. The amounts are too small to raise any flags at financial institutions, but over the years they add up to several thousand dollars. The conservator then uses that money as a down payment on a new home in their name. This is embezzlement, because the money entrusted to their care was funneled away for personal use.
Embezzlement is treated as a form of theft in the state of California. Depending on the amount of money or the value of goods involved in the alleged crime, it may be petit theft (value under 950 dollars) or grand theft (value above 950 dollars), and may qualify as either a misdemeanor or felony. In the above examples, the employee would be prosecuted as if they had committed petit theft because the dollar amount they embezzled was low. However, the conservator would be charged with grand theft because even though the dollar amounts of each transaction was low, the ending dollar amount misappropriated over the years was in excess of 950 dollars.
If you need an embezzlement defense attorney in Rolling Hills, Okabe and Haushalter can assist you. Our knowledgeable team of legal professionals are well-equipped to handle your criminal case. We will advocate for you in court, and will fight to get the charges against you reduced or even thrown out. Our aggressive defense strategies yield solid results, and we want to put our know-how to work to defend your case. Call today for a free consultation.