Skilled Embezzlement Defense Attorney Serving Criminal Law Clients in Los Angeles
Embezzlement is a white collar crime involving theft of property. Embezzlement can be a felony or a misdemeanor, depending upon the value of the property that was stolen. If you have been wrongfully accused of embezzlement, or if you made a mistake and are seeking advice, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. An embezzlement conviction carries with it serious penalties, including a potentially lengthy jail sentence, probation, supervised release, and/or a hefty fine. In addition, an embezzlement conviction will affect your permanent record. Most embezzlement occurs in the workplace, and as such, you may have difficulty finding a new job. You may also suffer difficulty renting apartments and obtaining financing.
To fight embezzlement charges, you need a criminal defense attorney like Kourosh Pourmorady who is well-versed in the California Penal Code, has real courtroom experience, and has a track record of successfully defending embezzlement charges. The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady will work tirelessly to investigate your case, develop a defense strategy, and advocate for your rights in court. To discuss your embezzlement charges for free with an experienced attorney, call The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady today at (866) 666-6529.
Definition of Embezzlement
Embezzlement is defined in California Penal Code Section 503-515 as “the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted.” You are guilty of embezzlement if someone allowed you access to their property, and you took it for your own use or sold it without permission.
To secure a conviction for embezzlement, the prosecutor has to prove:
- You had a relationship with the victim, such as an employee-employer relationship.
- Due to this relationship, you were given legal access to or possession of an item of value belonging to the victim.
- You then took this item with the intent to deprive the victim of ownership.
Embezzlement is commonly referred to by law enforcement as an employment crime because most instances of embezzlement occur in the workplace. Employees are given access to valuable items, such as money or electronics, and may steal those items or sell them to others for profit. While embezzlement most commonly involves cash, it can involve physical property.
Embezzlement is frequently confused with theft. Theft is the unlawful taking of another’s property. Embezzlement adds an additional element. When you embezzle something, you have legal access to or possession of the item but take it for your own use or profit without permission. Embezzlement occurs often in the workplace because employees are often given legal access to items of value belonging to the employer.
Examples of embezzlement include:
- An investment banker is given funds by an individual and is instructed to invest them in various money markets. The investment banker instead places the funds into his own bank account and spends the money.
- An individual for a car rental agency takes a company car without permission for his own use.
- An employer for an electronics store takes some expensive digital cameras from the stock room and sells them for cash on the side.
- An office employee takes money from petty cash to pay for her rent.
Penalties for Embezzlement
Embezzlement is prosecuted as either grand theft or petty theft in California. Grand theft applies to items valued at more than $950. Petty theft applies to items valued at less than $950.
Grand theft in California is known as a wobbler. This means that the prosecution can decide whether to charge it as a felony or misdemeanor. This determination is usually made based on your criminal record, the value of the item, and the type of item. If you are convicted of felony grand theft, you may be sentenced to up to 3 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. If you are convicted of misdemeanor grand theft, you may be sentenced to up to 1 year in prison and up to a $1,000 fine.
Petty theft is a misdemeanor. If you are convicted of misdemeanor petty theft, you face up to 1 year in prison and up to a $1,000 fine.
Free Consultation with Experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with embezzlement in California, you need the expertise and guidance of embezzlement defense lawyer Kourosh Pourmorady. Kourosh Pourmorady has over 17 years of experience defending clients in Los Angeles court. In addition, he is proficient in both criminal law and defenses to embezzlement and has a reputation for compassionate yet aggressive representation. To discuss your embezzlement case for free, call The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady today at (866) 666-6529.