What Is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement is a white collar crime in which an employee steals assets that their employer entrusted them with. Embezzlement is not explicitly named in New York laws. Still, the act of thievery from one’s employer is a crime nonetheless under the umbrella of larceny offenses.
What Are Some Examples of Embezzlement?
Workplace theft can occur in a number of ways. Common examples of embezzlement include:
- Billing for nonexistent employees
- Billing from a falsified account
- Unauthorized spending
- Willfully underreporting profits
- Taking cash from a register
What Are the Penalties for Embezzlement in New York?
Embezzlers are charged with either petty or grand larceny depending on how much money they stole. They may be convicted of:
- Petty larceny: When an individual steals less than $1,000, they face a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Fourth-degree larceny: When an individual steals between $1,000 and $3,000, they face a Class E felony charge punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
- Third-degree larceny: When an individual steals between $3,000 and $50,000, they face a Class D felony charge punishable by up to 7 years in prison.
- Second-degree larceny: When an individual steals between $50,000 and $1,000,000, they face a Class C felony charge punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
- First-degree larceny: When an individual steals more than $1,000,000, they face a Class B felony charge punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
When convicted of a felony, the embezzler is sentenced to a minimum prison term of one year. In addition, they may be required to pay a fine, usually equal to twice the value of the embezzled property.
When Embezzlement Becomes a Federal Crime
Embezzlement is a federal crime when the act targets an institution or agency owned by the federal government. This includes banks.
There is no specific embezzlement law at the federal level either. However, unlike the state and its larceny cases, the federal government prosecutes embezzlement as fraud. The penalties then vary depending on the type of fraud committed.
For more information regarding fraud convictions and how our attorneys can fight to protect you from them, contact Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry PLLC.