Embezzlement is categorized as a form of theft under Texas Penal Code Sec. 31.01 et. seq. Generally, embezzlement is theft for financial gain by an individual who has been entrusted, by an employer or another, to safeguard money or goods. Embezzlement often involves elements of fraud, in that individuals deliberately deceive a business, employer, or other entity for the purposes of their financial gain. This type of fraud can involve making false statements, falsifying records, or engaging in other sorts of misleading or deceitful conduct. Some common examples of embezzlement are:
· An employee stealing money from a cash register.
· Transferring money from a corporate or business bank account to a personal bank account.
· Altering business records to conceal employee theft of funds.
· An individual acting as power of attorney for an elderly person takes some of the person’s monthly income and doesn’t spend it for the person’s needs or expenses.
The penalties for embezzlement under Texas law vary according to amount of funds or value of the goods stolen. Embezzlement is a misdemeanor when it involves the theft of less than $1,500. The penalty for misdemeanor embezzlement can be as much as a year in jail.
If the embezzlement involves the theft of funds or goods valued at between $1,500 and $20,000, it is a state jail felony, which carries a jail sentence of between 180 days and two years. Embezzlement becomes a third-degree felony when it involves between $20,000 and $100,000, which can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years. Embezzlement involving between $100,000 and $200,000 is a second-degree felony that can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years. If the embezzlement involves more than $200,000, then it is a first-degree felony with a potential prison sentence of five to 99 years.
As this post indicates, the potential consequences of an embezzlement conviction may be quite significant. We are here to ensure that your rights are not violated and minimize any negative consequences that you may face as a result of embezzlement or related charges. The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal defense of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf in order to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys today.