Embezzlement, a Pre-meditated White-Collar Methodical Crime

Embezzlement, which is a form of white-collar crime, is committed when a person misappropriates the assets entrusted to him/her. It is often shocking to know that, despite the amounts of money that have been or continue to be embezzled, which often reach millions or billions of dollars, are never discovered until a relatively large portion of the funds are needed at one time or if a complete and independent accounting of all real and liquid assets is suddenly required.

Some of the biggest embezzlement cases in the U.S. include: the embezzlement of billions of dollars of investor money; embezzlement of employee retirement funds and billions of dollars in accounting fraud; fraud, embezzlement and ponzi scheme totaling to $8 billion; and embezzlement of $20 million of investor dollars.

Embezzlement is usually a deliberate crime that is methodically performed. By repeatedly embezzling only a small fraction or proportion of the total resources or funds and falsifying records in order to minimize risk of the detection, an embezzler can continue committing this crime for years or even decades without being detected. Some past embezzlement schemes are deemed very successful as these went on for many years before detection. This is due to the embezzler’s skill in concealing the nature of the transactions or in gaining the trust and confidence of investors or clients.

Laws on embezzlement may be federal or state-based. On the federal level, embezzlement laws target those who steal from the government. On the state level, laws go after public officials working for state and local governments, as well as people who do not work for the government.

Under federal statute 18 USC 3282, an embezzlement case may only be pursued within five years of the commission of the offense. Those convicted will be punished based on a point system. Base Offense Level, which is six, is the point assigned to those who have embezzled $5000 or less; the highest offense level is 36, which can be assigned to those who cause losses above $400 million.

According to a Wisconsin embezzlement defense attorney, though allegations of embezzlement may seriously impact your public image and career, a conviction may very well end your career once and for all. Once you have been made aware of any charges or investigations of public corruption against you, you will need to begin taking a number of precautions in order to defend your rights and protect your future from the federal prosecutors who will be trying your case.