What Is Embezzlement

New Jersey residents who work in financial positions carry a heavy burden on their shoulders. When an individual is entrusted with money, the organization and the public expect them to know where the money is at all times, and to use it only in accordance with the business’ practices and the law. Therefore, when money goes missing it is not uncommon for allegations of criminal wrongdoing to fly. It is critical that those who are subjected to these accusations understand the law so that they can decide how best to defend themselves against the allegations.

One of the crimes often alleged when money goes missing is embezzlement. This crime occurs when an individual who is entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing financial assets steals them. In many instances, individuals are accused of converting company or organization owned property for personal use and manipulating records to try to hide the conversion. An example of embezzlement is when a bank teller secretly takes money from a client, and then deposits the funds, uses them to buy personal items and then changes the clients’ deposit slips to reflect a lower deposit, thus hiding the missing funds.

It is worth noting that in order to be convicted of embezzlement the prosecution must prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that a fiduciary relationship must be established, and it must be shown that the accused acquired the assets through that relationship. It also needs to be proven that the accused actually took possession of the assets, or transferred possession to another third party. Finally, it must be shown that the act was intentional.

Proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is a tall order. However, to raise doubt, the accused needs to establish a strong legal defense that matches the aggressiveness of eager prosecutors. Failing to do so could lead to penalties that carry serious consequences, including a prison sentence and damage to an individual’s reputation.

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