Embezzlement and theft are both crimes that involve the taking of assets. In many ways, this does make them similar, but it’s also important to consider how they are different. This is especially true if you’re facing charges and you may think they don’t actually fit with the event that occurred.
Theft is generally defined as the taking of goods or assets by someone who wasn’t supposed to possess them. Embezzlement, on the other hand, is the misappropriation of those assets by someone who was entrusted with them. So it is not the possession of the assets themselves that is illegal, but what the person does with those assets or the way that they use them.
For example, an accountant or a financial officer at a business may be given access to that business’s financial accounts. The goal is for them to use the money for the company – buying products, paying employees, making transfers, paying taxes or doing whatever else the business needs to do with those funds.
But instead, that person begins to transfer a small amount of those funds into their own personal accounts. It’s not that they weren’t supposed to have access. That access was granted to them as an agent of the business. But they were never supposed to use the funds in those accounts for personal gain, so doing so is still illegal.
Are you facing charges?
Have you been accused of embezzlement, theft or another related crime? As you can see, it’s important to know exactly how it is defined and what you’re being accused of. A deep understanding of the charges can help you look into the legal defense options you have.