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Dallas Embezzlement Attorney

Is Embezzlement a Felony?

Embezzlement is generally defined as appropriating property or funds that belong to another party for your own personal gain. Most commonly, defendants are accused of embezzling funds from their employer or another party they have a business relationship with. It is one of the more common white collar offenses people are accused of. It can also be difficult to defend these cases, as there is quite often a significant paper trail. If you are facing state or federal embezzlement charges, it is important to be represented by an attorney who is experienced with these types of cases.

Spencer & Associates has successfully defended many people who have been accused of embezzlement. If you are facing these types of charges, we understand the legal jeopardy you are in, and we will do all we can to protect your rights and preserve your freedom. Our lawyer knows that context is important and that a situation is rarely as simple as law enforcement suggests. We will conduct our own thorough investigation to gather as much evidence to support your defense as possible.

Understanding Embezzlement Charges

Perhaps the classic example of embezzlement involves an employee tasked with handling company funds who begins wrongfully taking some of those funds for their own personal use. Embezzlement can be that simple, but it can involve far more complex situations.

The main difference between embezzlement and outright theft is that in embezzlement cases, the accused had legal access to the money or property appropriated but did not have permission to use it for their own personal gain. When theft is charged, the accused generally had no lawful reason to be handling the money or property taken. For example, if an employee is handed the company debit card and instructed to use it to pay a contractor, but instead takes money out for himself, that is likely embezzlement. If the same employee simply takes money out of his boss's desk without asking, that is likely theft.

Embezzlement is often treated as a far more serious offense than theft. The main reason behind this is that embezzlement involves abusing a relationship of trust. In order to embezzle, one must have been entrusted with another's money or property.

Embezzlement and Aggravating Factors

There are some cases where embezzlement charges may be considered more serious. These factors that may lead to increased charges can vary depending on whether the offense is being charged at the state or federal level. In Texas, aggravating factors include:

  • The alleged victim is a non-profit organization or an elderly individual;
  • The defendant is a public servant, and embezzled property came into the defendant's control due to their status as a public servant; or
  • Government property was taken by a person in a contractual relationship with a government agency.

At the federal level, aggravating factors include:

  • There was a violation of securities law, and the defendant holds a certain license or is an officer of a publicly traded company;
  • More than five victims allegedly suffered financial hardship as a result of embezzlement; or
  • The value of property allegedly taken was very high.

Defending an Embezzlement Case

Embezzlement cases can be challenging. One potential option we have seen success with in the past is negotiating repayment in lieu of prosecution. When this approach succeeds, a person will be required to return the value of any property taken, and they may avoid criminal prosecution at the state or federal level.

Our attorney tailors his defense approach to each unique situation. Our goal is to minimize the impact this charge will have on your life going forward. We will do everything we can to fight back against your embezzlement charge.

Contact a Texas Embezzlement Lawyer

If you believe that you are under investigation for embezzlement, or if you have already been charged with this offense, it is important that you contact an attorney quickly. Spencer & Associates has experience defending those charged with embezzlement. To begin with a complimentary consultation, please contact us at 214-385-8500.

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