What is the crime of embezzlement and what penalties might I face if I’m convicted of committing this crime?

Hand Taking MoneyEmbezzlement is a white collar crime in Virginia that is often prosecuted harshly because it involves the betrayal of another’s trust. Many individuals,  such as bank employees, bookkeepers, and treasurers of organizations, can find themselves arrested for this crime. If you are convicted of this offense, you may be sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence and large fines.

What Is the Crime of Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is also considered a larceny crime in Virginia. Under Virginia Code § 18.2-111, it is a crime to fraudulently and wrongfully use, dispose of, conceal, or embezzle someone’s property with the intent to permanently deprive him of it. Unlike other larceny crimes, the property must have been entrusted to the accused by the nature of his job, position, or office. Examples of what may constitute embezzlement include:

  • Stealing money from a cash register
     
  • Using a company credit card for personal use
     
  • Writing checks from a company account
     
  • Taking gift cards

Penalties for Embezzlement in Virginia

Embezzlement will be charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is considered petit larceny if the value of the property that was embezzled was under $500. If the value was $500 or more, the crime is a Class U (unclassified penalty range) grand larceny felony. The possible penalties include:

  • Misdemeanor. Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500
     
  • Felony. Prison sentence of up to 20 years and/or a fine of up to $2,500

A conviction can also have long-term consequences in your life. You would have a permanent criminal record, which may make it extremely difficult for you to obtain future employment, especially in your same field.

Have you been charged with embezzlement or another theft crime? Our dedicated and skilled criminal defense attorneys can build a strong defense strategy to fight the charges you face. This can result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.

We represent clients facing criminal charges in Fairfax, Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. To learn more about how we can help, call our Fairfax office to schedule your free case evaluation.