Embezzlement is defined by Penal Code 503 as the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted. It is commonly referred to as employee theft or employee fraud. “Entrusting” is the important difference between embezzlement and other types of theft. In order to be convicted of embezzling property, it must be property that you legally possessed or had authority to access.
The Prosecutor must prove the follow elements to prove the crime of Embezzlement:
1. An owner entrusted his or her property to the defendant.
2. The owner did so because he or she trusted the defendant.
3. The defendant converted or used that property for his or her own benefit.
4. When the defendant converted the property he or she intended to deprive the owner of it permanently or to remove it from the owner’s possession for so extended a period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property.
Penalties, Punishment, and Sentencing
Embezzlement is typically punished as either Penal Code section 487 if the value of the embezzled property is worth more than $950 or as Penal Code section 488 petty theft if the value is $950 or less. Penal Code 487 grand theft can filed by the prosecutor as a misdemeanor or as a felony.
The early intervention of an experienced defense attorney from the law offices of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley can often eliminate the stigma of criminal charges, allowing you to preserve your freedom and your professional reputation. As former Deputy District Attorneys and a Superior Court Judge, with over 50 years of experience, Tom O’Connor, Jason Runckel and Dan O'Malley have extensive knowledge and experience in defending clients charged with embezzlement. If you have been charged with embezzlement, contact us for a free consultation. We are here to answer any questions you might have related to your offense and guide you through the process.
The attorneys at O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley are well known and respected throughout the legal community and among our clients. From our offices in Walnut Creek, California, we serve Contra Costa County, the East Bay and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Our experience and expertise are available to you.