Oklahoma Embezzlement charges can come in a couple forms. Embezzlement is described as the misappropriation or misuse of company money, property or time. In other words, it’s a type of property theft. Normally the property theft is a theft of an employers property. The property misappropriated is generally money but can be any company property. All kinds of employers try to have the Government bring embezzlement charges against their employees. A local movie theater could deal with embezzlement charges just as much as a large corporation would. Embezzlement charges are nothing to take lightly. Many people think embezzlement is a white-collar crime that is punished by a slap on the wrist but this isn’t the case. Seasoned criminal defense attorneys will tell you the crime is prosecuted aggressively by the Police and District attorneys
Oklahoma Embezzlement Explained
If you see Oklahoma embezzlement charges as the fraudulent appropriation of property, you’ll realize that it can occur in many circumstances. § 1451 lays out a number of scenarios where embezzlement can happen:
- Where the property was obtained by being entrusted to that person for a specific purpose shall include, but not be limited to, any funds “held in trust” for any purpose;
- When the property was obtained by virtue of a power of attorney being granted for the sale or transfer;
- If the property is controlled for the use of another person;
- Where the property is to be used for a public or benevolent purpose;
- When any person diverts any money appropriated by law from the purpose and object of the appropriation;
- If any person fails or refuses to pay over to the state any tax or other monies collected in accordance with state law, and who appropriates the tax or monies to the use of any person not entitled to the tax or monies;
- Where the property is possessed for the purpose of transportation, without regard to whether packages containing the property have been broken;
- When any person removes crops from any leased or rented premises with the intent to deprive the owner or landlord interested in the land of any of the rent due from that land, or who fraudulently appropriates the rent to that person or any other person; or
- If the property is possessed by virtue of a lease or rental agreement, and the property is willfully or intentionally not returned within 10 days after the expiration of the agreement.
Embezzlement does not require a distinct act of taking, but only a fraudulent appropriation, conversion or use of property.
Punishment for Embezzlement
Embezzlement charges are no slap on the wrist. The penalties for such crimes are very serious and expensive. Consider the following:
- If the value of the property embezzled is less than $1,000, any person convicted shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000, by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed 1 year or, at the discretion of the court, by imprisonment in the county jail for one or more nights or weekends, or by both such fine and imprisonment;
- When the value of the property embezzled is $1,000 or more but less than $2,500, any person convicted shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 2 years or in the county jail for a term not to exceed 1 year, shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $5,000, and ordered to pay restitution to the victim;
- If the value of the property embezzled is $2,500 or more but less than $15,000, any person convicted shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 5 years, shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $5,000, and ordered to pay restitution to the victim; or
- If the value of the property embezzled is $15,000 or more, any person convicted shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 8 years, subject to a fine not exceeding $10,000, and ordered to pay restitution to the victim.
Probation or Jail Time is Common
The District Attorneys Office generally wants the money back. Not only do they want the money back they’ll use it as an opportunity to add some of their own administration costs and fines for you to pay. Depending on the circumstances, they generally put those convicted of the crime on probation. This probation can be for as long as ten years. This probation is either as a deferred sentence or a suspended sentence. Probation sounds like a great thing but be careful. If you fail to make your payments or you get in any trouble at all the Government will file an application to revoke probation. If this happens you could go to jail. People may not know that the conduct they engaged in was embezzlement. The thing to understand about embezzlement is that the government must prove you did it. And their proof has to be beyond a reasonable doubt. Problems with proof exist if the employer has sloppy accounting records. Another might be found if access to the embezzled money is available to many people.
If you’re dealing with Oklahoma embezzlement charges, you need to get in touch with an attorney quick. You also need to make sure that you don’t make any statements to the Police. Remember, it can happen to anyone. Our Tulsa attorneys represent people charged with crimes Courts in all Oklahoma Counties. The key to this crime is getting out in front of it. Its important to test the strength of the District attorneys case. Call us for a free and confidential consultation. 918.743.2233 or click here for an email consultation
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