At some point in your life, you may find yourself responsible for handling the assets of others. There are many jobs that entail having access to and control of someone else’s money or property. This common situation can become very contentious should some of that money or property come up missing, or is at least thought to be missing. In this situation, accusations of embezzlement may be levied against the party who had a responsibility to safeguard the missing asset.
But what could a person do specifically to be accused of embezzlement? Embezzlement is a form of theft executed by a person who has been entrusted to care for the assets they have taken. There are numerous ways in which this theft can be carried out.
For example, if someone is working as a clerk in a store or a bank, they have been given legal possession of funds for the purpose of carrying out business during working hours. These funds actually belong to the business or bank and their unauthorized removal for personal use is embezzlement.
Those who work in an accounting capacity for an organization can have opportunity to commit theft by hiding funds through records manipulation. Within a corporate setting, an embezzler might attempt to make off with one big lump sum. They may also try to take smaller sums over an extended period of time. Regardless, the methods employed to take the funds sometimes prove quite creative, involving fraudulent billing or issuing paychecks to non-existent employees.
As mentioned earlier, embezzlement can also be committed through the unapproved removal of property. This may include lawfully possessed property such as cars or computers, issued to an employee by a company.
Sometimes, people find themselves in a situation where they feel that borrowing or taking something to which they have been granted trusted access will somehow solve a personal financial problem. If they are caught, they will likely need to defend themselves against criminal charges.
Embezzlement charges are very serious and should be met with a firm legal response. A Louisiana lawyer, who understands what criteria must be met by an accuser in an embezzlement case, may be able to help build an effective defense.