Embezzlement is a financial crime, often considered a white-collar crime. In many cases, it is also carried out during someone’s employment. The target of the financial crime is their own employer.
Embezzlement is much different than theft in that it deals with the misappropriation of assets or funds. The employee at the company is allowed to access those funds or accounts and is not abusing their power by doing so. The issue is what they do with the money, as they may transfer it to their own accounts or take other steps to promote personal financial gain. This misappropriation or misallocation of assets is illegal.
Covering up the crime
Another key component of embezzlement, in many cases, is that the person may take steps to cover up the crime. For instance, some people will falsify expense reports. An accountant may try to doctor the paperwork so that it appears that the funds are not missing at all – or that someone else was responsible for them.
This is why embezzlement is referred to as a white-collar crime. A position of trust and power within the company is necessary. With other types of theft, such as robbing a bank or a retail location, those involved simply hope to get away before they are caught. With embezzlement, the person may just try to use their position to cover up their activity and hope that no one notices.
When someone is facing embezzlement allegations, it’s a serious legal issue that could impact far more than just their employment at the company. It’s crucial for them to understand their legal defense options at this time.