In the state of New York, the crime of embezzlement is considered to be a form of larceny and is covered by larceny statutes. The definition of larceny is the wrongful taking of another party’s property. Larceny is considered to be embezzlement when the person who takes the property was entrusted to hold the property for its rightful owner.
Examples of embezzlement
In legal terms, “property” could be physical property, money, computer data or something else of value. A typical example of embezzlement is the unlawful transfer of funds by an accountant. If a financial professional was entrusted with a client’s bank account details and then uses that information to take funds without permission, this would be considered embezzlement.
The white-collar crime of embezzlement could also involve a physical item of value. For example, a person who works at a gas station and steals gas for their personal vehicle could be accused of embezzlement.
Penalties for embezzlement
A conviction on larceny by embezzlement has varying penalties depending on the value of the property that was taken. When property is valued at over $1,000, embezzlement is considered to be fourth-degree grand larceny, which is a class E felony. Felony charges for embezzlement have penalties ranging from between three and 25 years in prison.
Defending yourself against embezzlement charges
If you have been accused of embezzlement, there are several defenses that may help your case. Depending on your situation, you may argue that you obtained the property in question under good faith due to a miscommunication. You may also argue that you intended to take property only temporarily.