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What is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is a specific type of non-violent theft occurring when a trusted associate or employee misappropriates money or property that it is entrusted to them by the property’s owner. Embezzlement is often a crime of opportunity more often than a premeditated wrong.  If you think you’re being investigated for embezzlement, it is crucial that you obtain the assistance of a business crime attorney in Jacksonville immediately.

Embezzlement, being a form of theft, is known as a “crime of moral turpitude.”  It often starts with small amounts and quickly spirals to involve larger sums. For example:

  • A bank teller or cashier skims money from the till
  • An adult caretaker uses his or her client’s money for his or her own uses

The caretaker who lifted only some loose change or the cashier who just “borrowed” enough for lunch often repeat this criminal behavior until the amount stolen is in the thousands of dollars.  Depending upon the value of the property taken, embezzlement can be charged as a felony, punishable by a term in state prison or as a misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of a year or less in county jail.

A skilled attorney can help you present an effective defense to a charge of embezzlement and establish eligibility for a pretrial intervention program that could save you from being branded as a felon. Pretrial Intervention (PTI) is a program available to some first-time offenders, requiring completion of a court-supervised program. If you successfully complete the program, the charges against you will be dismissed.

If you are convicted of a crime of moral turpitude it will be difficult, if not impossible, for you to enter certain professions that require licensure such as law, architecture and teaching. If you are facing embezzlement charges, the best course of action is to contact the Jacksonville embezzlement attorneys at Fallgatter Catlin & Varon, P.A., one of Jacksonville’s foremost white collar criminal defense firms. Our skilled and reputable lawyers can help you explore the options for keeping your good name.