If a person embezzles in Pennsylvania, they lawfully have possession of certain goods, but they never intend to return the goods to the original owner, or they intend to use the goods illegally. It may be useful for business owners and individuals to have knowledge of embezzlement law.
What embezzlement means
Embezzlement involves the lawful handling of goods without the intention of giving them back. For example, a sales clerk has a legal right to handle products for the business. However, if they take products from the store and resell them at a higher price, that is considered embezzlement.
Embezzlement may also include giving goods away, using them personally, not returning goods or damaging merchandise. In some cases, transferring goods a short distance or slightly using them a short time doesn’t give enough evidence for embezzlement.
Other types of embezzlement
Embezzlement can involve money without property in large or small amounts. For example, Ponzi schemes are a type of embezzlement that causes clients to lose money. Ponzi schemes promise clients large profits from nonexistent property. In the corporate world, embezzlement may come in the form of falsifying payroll reports, falsifying receipts or forging checks.
Proof needed for an embezzlement case
Though laws vary by state, most cases require several basic factors. The defendant should have a fiduciary relationship with the owner. The property has to belong to the owner via that relationship. The defendant must have transferred goods or property to another owner, and the actions have to be intentional.
An embezzlement charge usually has serious legal repercussions, and a false charge could damage a person’s reputation. However, criminal law allows accused individuals to present a defense. An attorney can help an individual fight the charges or negotiate for reduced charges.