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What Is Embezzlement?

May 12, 2016 | Written by Dan Margolis

Embezzlement is often thought about within the realm of the business world, but it is more complex than just taking money from your employer or a company. According to Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, if you are placed in a position of trust and you are suspected of the theft of that personal property, then, you could be charged with embezzlement.

There are many actions you could undertake that could lead to suspicion of embezzling money, goods or other assets. One action is if you were to take a small, unnoticeable amount at intervals, that over a period of time add up to a substantial amount. It is reported that some people take a large amount prior to disappearing so as to evade capture. If you were to under-report a business’ income in order to pocket the difference, you would be embezzling. This is the case whether you were to act against a company, a government agency or a private individual.

Although this type of crime most often includes the misappropriation of monetary funds, it may also involve other types of goods or assets. You may often hear the terms “embezzlement” and “larceny.” For example, if you were given access to a business’ bank accounts as part of your job duties and chose to put some of those funds into your own account, you would be considered to be embezzling the funds. This is due to the fact that you had a legal power over the money.

In addition to embezzlement charges, you may face tax evasion charges by the Internal Revenue Service if you do not report the income you received through the alleged embezzlement. You might find that you are eligible for a tax refund after paying restitution or returning the funds if you have complied and included it on an income tax return. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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