San Jose Fraud Lawyer
Embezzlement & Fraud
Embezzlement cases can only occur when the perpetrator has access to handling the money of the victim. Embezzlement can be most easily understood as a theft that occurs over a period of time. The crime of embezzlement most commonly occurs in the workplace. It can be as simple as the theft of a few dollars from the cash register every few days by a store cashier all the way up to “creative bookkeeping” by company officers or accountants.
The crime of embezzlement can also occur and is most reviled when a caregiver is allowed to sign on the bank account of an elder or dependent adult. These situations can range from the caregiver picking up personal items at the grocery store or making out small checks to cash—up to systematically emptying out the accounts of the elder or dependent in care. These types of embezzlement are also prosecuted as “elder abuse.”
Embezzlement can also occur when a financial planner or broker abuses his/her position of trust and fails to invest funds in his/her care, and takes the money for himself ala Bernie Madoff.
In the most common types of embezzlement cases, the person who takes the money only plans on “borrowing” it to get through an emergency and then replacing it later. One emergency follows another and eventually the embezzler is charged with theft. Sometimes an unsophisticated person charged with embezzlement commits this crime out of desperation—perhaps an unemployed or abusive spouse pushing the perpetrator to just take a little money. Sometimes embezzlement is committed in order to supply a drug or gambling habit. An undervalued employee may even believe he or she deserves the money because the boss does not appreciate or pay the employee well.
If you or someone you know is charged with embezzlement, or if the police seek to question you about money that has gone missing at work, you need to immediately contact an experienced San Jose Criminal Defense Attorney such as Maureen Furlong Baldwin. Sometimes company records are not clear enough to convict a party accused of the crime. When a company has discovered that an employee has been taking money, there is a tendency on the part of the company to attribute ALL unexplained losses to employee theft so the amount of restitution is almost always in dispute. Statements from the perpetrator regarding his or her access to money or the fact that he or she never intended to actually steal it will be used by the prosecution to prove the case, not to help the defendant. Never talk to police or even employers without talking to a San Jose Criminal Defense Attorney first. Only an experienced San Jose Fraud Lawyer can evaluate your case and protect you from jail or prison sentences. Contact the Law Office of Maureen Baldwin if you or a loved one is in this type of trouble.