Baltimore Embezzlement Lawyer
If you have been accused of embezzling funds, you should seek legal counsel from a Baltimore County embezzlement lawyer immediately. Over the years, prosecutors have focused their attention on white collar offenses, the types of crimes that can be perpetrated online or in the workplace. White collar crimes tend to span a wider range of demographics than other crimes, so the motivation to deter others from committing these crimes is very high. A skilled Baltimore fraud attorney is experienced and able to provide a thorough defense of embezzlement charges.
What is Embezzlement?
Generally, embezzlement refers to the conversion of personal property by an individual in lawful possession of that property. A conversion refers to the taking or appropriating of another’s property without their consent. Embezzlement is unique in that it requires a specific mindset – the intent to defraud. Embezzlement differs from other theft offenses in that the defendant was in lawful possession of the property at some point.
For instance, a pizza delivery driver that is entrusted with taking the business’ money to the bank is entrusted with the money to carry and hold in their possession. The pizzeria owner is the bailor who transfers possession of the money to the delivery driver, but not ownership. The delivery driver is the bailee of the pizzeria’s money while it is entrusted to them. At no point did the owner intend to permanently transfer ownership of the money to the delivery driver.
Rather, the money was only temporarily entrusted to the pizza driver for the purpose of completing a specific task. If the driver keeps some of the money that was entrusted to him, they may have embezzled those funds. This is different from shoplifting or robbery in that in an embezzlement scenario, there is a relationship founded on trust between the bailor and bailee. Embezzlement offenses can be as small as a cashier taking money from a drawer to a stockbroker transferring millions to offshore accounts. To learn more about different scenarios, contact a Baltimore County embezzlement lawyer today.
Consequences of Embezzlement Offenses
Maryland has criminalized embezzlement under Maryland Criminal Code §7-102. The seriousness of the potential consequence depends upon the severity of the crime alleged. Under Maryland Criminal Code §7-104, the following are potential consequences for embezzlement offenses:
- Felony theft exceeding $100,000 risks incarceration up to 25 years with a fine of up to $25,000
- Felony theft between $10,000 and $100,000 risks incarceration up to 15 years with a fine of up to $15,000
- Felony theft between $1,000 and $10,000 risks incarceration up to 10 years with a fine of up to $10,000
- Misdemeanor theft between $100 and $1,000 risks incarceration up to 18 months with a fine of up to $500
- Petty theft less than $100 risks incarceration up to 90 days with a fine of up to $500
Contact a Baltimore County Embezzlement Attorney Today
Embezzlement offenses carry heavy fines and penalties. If the offense involves your employer, they may have already begun an investigation against you to determine the amount and location of the missing funds. Some employers will go as far as intimidating you into signing a confession. It is important that you have legal counsel from the beginning, to address your legal issues and ensure that your defense is consistent throughout the litigation.
Beyond the risks of incarceration and monetary penalties, criminal convictions affect our lives in many other ways. A conviction may have to be disclosed to future employers. A conviction could result in civil penalties, resulting in civil restitution damages paid to the accuser. In fact, a conviction for a theft offense could pose an issue in a future civil case where the defendant is now the plaintiff. For example, the conviction could be inquired about in a civil case years later where the embezzlement defendant is now a personal injury plaintiff in a motor vehicle lawsuit. If you have questions about the charges against you or how the embezzlement conviction could potentially affect your life, contact a Baltimore county embezzlement lawyer right away.