At Lotze Mosley, LLP our Washington D.C. and Maryland embezzlement defense attorneys protect the rights of our residents by effectively representing those who are accused of or are charged with fraud, so they do not have to face their accuser and the prosecutor’s office alone.
In order to charge someone with embezzlement, there must first be a financial relationship between the accused and the victim. Next, the actions of the accused must have been on purpose. Financial accidents and oversights are not admissible in court, and our embezzlement lawyers maintain that if your case has no merit or evidence to support the charges, the prosecutor’s do not have a case. Our criminal defense attorneys are committed to developing a strategy that will lead to the best outcome available for each of our client’s unique cases, including getting the charges dropped completely or lowered to avoid the harshest penalties.
What Is Embezzlement?
For a financial embezzlement charge to occur it must involve a defendant who was in a position in which they were allowed to have access to money or other property. Embezzlement may occur when an employee has access to a bank account of their employer, or when a caregiver has access to the funds of a family member and uses their trust to unlawfully take money for their own purposes without the authority to do so.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Embezzlement?
Although embezzlement is usually more common in the workplace or in volunteer and non-profit organizations, embezzling can happen anywhere.
The most common types of embezzlement can include, but are not limited to:
- Someone who is in charge of a family member’s accounts takes money without permission for personal use
- Investment brokers who fail to invest client money and instead keep it
- Ponzi schemes, where brokers pay investors with money from new investors and the broker takes the profits
When employees are charged with embezzlement, the most common acts include:
- Outright funds theft, including taking cash or directly transferring funds
- Check fraud, including altering or forging company checks
- Credit or debit card fraud, including using company cards for personal expenses
- Exaggerated vendor invoicing or false billing
- Payroll fraud
How Often Does Embezzlement Occur?
Embezzlement schemes typically unfold over an extended period of time, which on average takes five years to discover. Because of the time involved and the often-elaborate cover-up that takes place, U.S. businesses are estimated to lose approximately $2.2 million for cases that lasted five or more years, and for cases lasting 10 years or more years, the loss was closer to $5.4 million. No two embezzlement cases are the same, and neither are the circumstances or amount totals surrounding their fraud.
If No One Is Physically Harmed, Why Am I Being Charged?
Just because no one gets hurt does not mean that embezzlement is not a crime. These financially motivated crimes can lead to serious repercussions for the accused or charged and will require the help of an accomplished embezzlement attorney in Washington D.C. and Maryland to reach the best outcome available for your unique case.
What If I Was Being Threatened With Harm If I Did Not Embezzle The Money?
At Lotze Mosley, LLP, our criminal defense attorneys have over two decades of combined proficiency in handling embezzlement cases. Based on our experience, a rare but valid defense is that you believed you or your loved ones would be harmed if you did not engage in embezzlement.
It must be proven clearly that you were specifically under duress. If your job was threatened, or if you were physically in danger, you may have a proper and provable defense for your unlawful actions.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations On Embezzlement In Maryland And Washington D.C.?
Embezzlement charges can exist as misdemeanors or felonies, and depending on where the funds were embezzled from the statute of limitations can range from three years in the State of Maryland to up to nine years in Washington D.C. More importantly, the source of the embezzled funds will also dictate whether you are tried in a state or federal court, which will make a difference in how your defense is designed.
If you have been accused of or charged with embezzlement, contact our experienced Washington, D.C. criminal defense attorneys at Lotze Mosley, LLP today by calling (202) 759-7365. Our customized defense strategies will provide you with the best outcome available for your unique case and will give you the confidence you need to face these charges head on.
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