May 05 2011

What is embezzlement?

Category: Law


EmbezzlementEmbezzlement is a term used to describe a type of fraud where misappropriated or stolen property is lawfully held, at one point, by the offending party. The element that makes this type of crime different from mere theft is that the criminal had legal possession of the tangible or intangible property before it was intentionally moved or taken. What also makes embezzlement unique is that there is often a trusted relationship between the party that commits the crime and the victim. For the crime of embezzlement to occur and be charged, these actions must be supported:

  • The offender and victim must have a trusted affiliation.
  • The offender has acquired the property because of the affiliation.
  • The offender converted or transferred the property to another party or location.
  • The offender had knowledge, purpose, and intent to misappropriate property.

In most cases of embezzlement, the crime is premeditated and misappropriated in diminutive amounts to maintain the unlawful activities and to make sure they go unnoticed for as long as possible. Embezzling will often progress undetected until the property or funds are called upon for use.

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