One of the most common types of white collar crimes is that of embezzlement. Embezzlement occurs when a person entrusted with funds or other assets commits the theft of that money. This crime is most often committed in the corporate world. To take it one step further, accounting embezzlement is when the numbers are changed to hide the fact that money has been taken.
Embezzlement is a common crime because people who are given access to someone else's money tend to get greedy. They figure they won't get caught if they can manipulate the numbers to hide the theft. They also believe that since they've done it before and haven't gotten caught that they are really good at it.
Some examples of embezzlement and the industries in which it occurs include the following:
- Bank tellers given access to the bank's funds for work
- Store clerks or cashiers given access to a money till
- Employees given access to a company car
- Employees who are issued laptops or other electronics by their employers
In order for the crime to be considered valid, there needs to be four items present:
- Fiduciary relationship between two entities
- Defendant obtained the money or asset using the relationship
- Defendant had to have become the owner of the property or given it to another person
- The actions of the defendant were intentional
If you have been charged with embezzlement or believe someone close to you at work is committing such a crime, it is important to speak with a white collar crimes attorney. Knowing what is at stake beforehand can help you prepare for what's to come.