In general, embezzlement laws in Texas fall under theft laws. However, it is basically financial theft of a defendant who is an employee of the plaintiff. Embezzlement occurs when an employee entrusted with her or his employer’s resources—financial or otherwise—steals some or all of those resources. It is often classified as a white collar crime, but doesn’t have to be solely classified as such. Majority, if not all embezzlement cases, involve fraud.
The Houston criminal defense lawyer of DNTrialLaw.com further explains the provisions and penalties under this crime:
The Distinctive Elements of Embezzlement Cases
Crimes of embezzlement are significantly different from other forms of theft, as the property or money is not directly stolen from the owner. Rather, the owner handed his or her property to another individual to hold or manage, with that individual violating the trust of the owner. As “breach of trust” is an element of the crime, authorities in Texas passed laws that impose severe penalties for people who maliciously violate that level of trust.
Embezzlement cases could also be elder abuse in some way. For instance, an individual received legal authority to control and administer an elderly person’s money, stocks, and other properties. When that individual acts without the other party’s knowledge, that could be a form of embezzlement. In addition, embezzlement may also occur if a company’s chief financial officer spends the assets for her or his personal gain.
Potential Penalties and Importance of Legal Representation
According to a criminal defense lawyer in Houston, embezzlement penalties depend on the stolen property’s value. The higher the value, the more severe the penalties. Facing an embezzlement charge is no laughing matter. Aside from imprisonment, convicted individuals must also pay fines, as well as restitution to the plaintiff.
Hiring an experienced lawyer is vital, so that you’ll know if you have other options for your case.