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Embezzlement involves stealing from someone who has given an individual money or property for safe-holding, but instead, the individual takes it for their gain. In this crime, the person originally entrusted the money uses it for non-authorized purposes. Commonly, embezzlement is seen in an employment relationship where an employee steals or embezzles money from their employer. But, it could also occur in a family relationship or any other type of relationship where one person is responsible for the assets of another.

More specifically, Michigan Law § 750.174 defines embezzlement as when an agent or employee of an individual, business, or the government uses their position of trust to take the property, valuables, or proprietary information fraudulently.

Common examples of embezzlement include an employee using a business credit card for personal expenses, a bank teller taking money from a customer but not depositing it in their account, or a trustee of a trust using assets from the trust which they are not entitled to for making personal purchases.

Michigan Embezzlement Lawyer

If you have been charged with this crime, or are under investigation in any embezzlement case in Michigan, it is crucial that you obtain legal representation from a skilled defense attorney with specific experience in white collar crimes. J. Dallo at Dallo Law, P.C. has years of experience defending clients arrested for embezzlement. He will use his experience in the courtroom to challenge the prosecution using his extensive skills, knowledge and resources.

Call Dallo Law, P.C. today at (248) 283-7000 to set up your first consultation free. Dallo Law, P.C. has offices located in Bloomfield Hills, and accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area.

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Information Center

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Penalties for Embezzlement in Michigan

The penalties for an embezzlement conviction in Michigan depend on the value of the property taken from the victim. As the value stolen increases, the penalties increase as well.

The range is as follows:

  • Embezzlement of less than $200 – misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail
  • Embezzlement between $200 – $1,000 – misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail
  • Embezzlement between $1,000 – $20,000 – felony punishable by up to five years in prison
  • Embezzlement between $20,000 – $50,000 – felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison
  • Embezzlement between $50,000 – $100,000 – felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison
  • Embezzlement greater than $100,000 – felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison

There may also be fines in addition to the jail and prison times served. Embezzlement is a serious crime that, once committed, will likely affect many aspects of an individual’s life. Commonly, embezzlement is seen as a “white-collar crime.” This means that the majority of people who commit embezzlement are people who have high-paying jobs and no significant criminal record.

If an individual is convicted of embezzlement, it will be placed on their criminal record. This crime is a crime that many employers are looking for when they run a criminal background check. If an individual is looking for a new job where they will be handling money or high-value items for their employer, a criminal record for embezzlement can lead to a hard no from the prospective employer.

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Potential Defenses for Embezzlement

A defense may be able to reduce or even eliminate a charge of embezzlement. Depending on the details of the case, an experienced attorney can find defenses for the case and bring them before the judge or jury. For the State to prove that the individual is guilty of embezzlement, the prosecution must be able to prove all of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. A skilled defense attorney can bring a defense or a combination of defenses into the equation to damage the prosecution’s case.

Multiple defenses are available for the crime of embezzlement, and our attorneys will look into every one to determine which defense will be the best and most likely to succeed in the case at hand. Some defenses we will look into are insufficient evidence, absence of intent, entrapment, duress, and incapacity.

If the prosecution does not have enough proper evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual in question committed the crime, they will not be able to convict successfully.

Another very powerful defense is absence or lack of intent. For an individual to embezzle, they must have had the ill intent to permanently deprive the victim of their assets to use them for the individual’s gain. If the individual believed they were rightfully entitled to the assets, they might not be convicted because they lack the requisite intent.

Our attorneys will use these and any other defenses that may apply to the case to remove or reduce the criminal charge.

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Other Effects

If the case ends in a criminal conviction, the individual convicted of wrongdoing will face more than just paying fines and serving jail time. As with any criminal conviction, a conviction of embezzlement will go on an individual’s criminal record. Once an individual has a criminal record, it can be found by potential employers, housing authorities, and banks. With a white-collar crime like embezzlement, employers may hesitate to hire the individual.

Having a criminal record can have effects that extend into an individual’s personal life as well. In many cases, when family and friends find out about a criminal record, they act differently and change their relationship with the guilty individual. This is why hiring a skilled and experienced attorney from the beginning is essential to have the best chance of avoiding a criminal record.

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Additional Resources

Embezzlement Prevention For Small Organizations | Michigan Department of Attorney General – A State of Michigan website that provides resources for small organizations concerned about fraud and embezzlement prevention.

Ways To Prevent Employee Theft And Fraud | Score – A resource on how to spot and take proactive measures to prevent employee theft and fraud.

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Bloomfield Hills Embezzlement Attorney | Oakland County, MI

Embezzlement charges are an extremely serious matter, and the damage to your life should not be underestimated. If you have been arrested for embezzlement, acquire the experienced legal representation of attorney J. Dallo at Dallo Law, P.C.. Attorney J. Dallo has defended numerous people charged with white collar crimes throughout Oakland County, MI, and the surrounding areas. He uses his in-depth knowledge and skills to get their charges reduced or the case dismissed.

Set up your first consultation by calling Dallo Law, P.C. at (248) 283-7000. Our firm accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Oakland Charter Township, Royal Oak, Clarkston, Southfield, Bloomfield Hills, Warren, Sterling Heights, Romeo, Utica, Roseville, and Eastpointe.

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