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Embezzlement

Contra Costa County Embezzlement Lawyer

Embezzlement involves the misappropriation or theft of funds entrusted to an individual's care. This “white collar crime” is considered a theft offense and can have severe legal consequences for a conviction. Those who are accused cannot afford to take their accusations lightly—with stiff penalties and ongoing consequences, an embezzlement conviction could be a life-altering event.  

If you find yourself facing embezzlement allegations, seeking legal representation is crucial. At the Law Office of Daniel Horowitz, we have handled numerous embezzlement cases and are aware of how complex they can be. With decades of experience, we are committed to providing a robust and aggressive defense for our clients. We approach each case with a unique. 

Contact us at (925) 291-5388 to talk to our team and schedule a consultation.

What Is Embezzlement?

As stated above, embezzlement is the name used to describe inappropriately using or misappropriating property that is placed in your position. Most of the time, the property in question is money. In a number of cases, multiple people may have access to and control over a particular sum of money with permission to utilize or manage these funds in a particular way. Stepping outside of these boundaries or using these funds in a way that is not authorized could be considered embezzlement, especially when this is done for personal gain. 

Embezzlement can take various forms, including:

  • Corporate embezzlement: This occurs within a business or corporate setting when employees or managers misuse company funds, manipulate financial records, or engage in other fraudulent activities.
  • Public embezzlement: Takes place in government organizations when public officials or employees misappropriate public funds or resources for personal gain.
  • Non-profit embezzlement: This happens in charitable organizations or non-profits when individuals within the organization misuse donated funds, divert assets, or engage in fraudulent financial practices.
  • Employee theft: This occurs when employees misuse their access to company assets, including stealing cash, manipulating financial records, or engaging in fraudulent activities.

California’s Embezzlement Laws & Penalties

Calfornia Penal Code § 503 PC defines embezzlement and creates the penalty structure that a conviction follows. Embezzlement is considered a “wobbler” crime, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. However, because of the nature of the offense, most charges are felony in nature due to the value of the property stolen. To put it simply: any amount stolen under $950 is considered a misdemeanor, while any amount over $950 is considered a felony. Penalties for a conviction of any type can include fines, jail time, victim restitution, loss of rights, and so much more.

However, there are a few key elements to the law that could provide and avenue to prove innocence. There are three key elements that define embezzlement as a crime, and a skilled attorney may be able to prove that any one of the three was not present. 

Here Are a Few Key Elements of Embezzlement:

  • Fiduciary relationship: Embezzlement cases often involve a fiduciary relationship between the accused and the victim, meaning the accused had a legal duty to act in the best interest of the victim.
  • Misappropriation: This means the prosecution must be able to demonstrate that the property in question was truly misappropriated or used improperly. If the property was used in a way that was considered acceptable, even if the outcome was not desirable, then no offense has occurred.
  • Criminal intent: Embezzlement involves deliberate intent to deprive the victim of the property in question. If the accused did not intend to deprive the victim of the property, then no offense has occurred.

Consequences of Embezzlement

Embezzlement carries severe legal consequences, impacting an individual's personal and professional life. These consequences include criminal charges, fines, imprisonment, restitution to victims, potential civil lawsuits, and damage to one's reputation, which can hinder future employment and trust. The severity of these consequences depends on factors such as the embezzled amount and specific case circumstances.

At the Law Office of Daniel Horowitz, we recognize the seriousness of embezzlement allegations and are committed to offering comprehensive legal assistance to individuals facing these charges. Attorney Daniel Horowitz meticulously assembles each defense and support team that provides support and advocacy against these charges. If you or someone you know is facing embezzlement allegations, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Contact the Law Office of Daniel Horowitz by calling (925) 291-5388 or reach out through our online contact form to schedule a consultation.

Certified Criminal Defense Specialist 

Daniel Horowitz is a certified criminal defense specialist.  On high stakes cases Daniel works with Dan Russo and Carmela Caramagno who are also certified criminal defense specialists.  This title is not self created.  It is a designation of criminal defense achievement issued by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.  There are thousands of criminal defense lawyers, thousands of federal defense lawyers but only several hundred State Bar certified specialists. 

 

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