Articles Posted in Embezzelment

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embezzlement Los AngelesEarlier this year, 13 Los Angeles United School District employees were charged with embezzlement for stealing thousands of textbooks from area schools for a book buyer.1 The employees allegedly stole the books from schools in Los Angeles, Inglewood and Bellflower, and were paid $200,000 for the textbooks. The scheme lasted for three years before it was finally discovered.

In California, embezzlement is defined in Penal Code section 503. Under the statute, embezzlement is “the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted.” Essentially, you commit embezzlement if you steal for personal gain all or part of the money or property that someone else has entrusted to you to manage or monitor. Embezzlement is also commonly referred to as employee theft or fraud and is considered a white collar crime.

5 Things You Should Know About Your Embezzlement Charges

1) Embezzlement Charges Can Occur in a Number of Different Situations: A bank teller can embezzle customer deposits for personal use. A lawyer can embezzle by improperly using client funds in an escrow account. An hourly employee can embezzle funds by falsifying overtime records. There are an unlimited number of embezzlement scenarios.

In every case, you must hold a special position of trust and have legal access to the property or money stolen. This position of trust is a key element to the crime of embezzlement. Without it, you cannot be prosecuted for embezzlement.

2) Embezzlement Falls under Penal Code Section 404 as a Theft Crime: Embezzlement falls under the definition of theft. If you allegedly embezzled a car, a firearm, or property valued over $950, you will be charged with grand theft under Penal Code Section 487. If you allegedly embezzled property valued at $950 or less, you will be charged with petty theft under Penal Code Section 488.

If you are involved in an embezzlement investigation, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney in order to determine how the prosecution may charge you in your case.

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Embezzlement is defined by Penal Code 503 as a fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom the property has been entrusted. Embezzlement is a form of theft. However, the key characteristic of the crime of embezzlement is that the rightful owner of the property must have “entrusted” this property to you.

An example of embezzlement is if you are a bank employee and your employer gives a roll of the bank’s money to deposit in the bank’s vault, and you instead unlawfully take the money for yourself.

Embezzlement charges are taken very seriously in California. Not only could you face significant jail time, you could also face expensive fines if you are convicted of embezzlement. That is why you should put your case in the capable hands of an experienced criminal defense law firm.

Prosecution of Embezzlement under PC 503

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Los Angeles embezzlement attorneyCalifornia Penal Code section 503 defines embezzlement as “the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted.” A criminal conviction for embezzlement can have severe consequences. In addition, embezzlement charges can carry a harsh social stigma that can follow you for a long period of time.

If you are being charged with embezzlement, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you present the best possible defense for your case.

Embezzlement Prosecution (CALCRIM 1806)

According to California Criminal Jury Instructions 1806, in order for the prosecution to convict you for embezzlement, the prosecution must prove:

  • The owner of the property (or an agent of the owner) entrusted his or her property to you;
  • The owner entrusted you with the property because he or she trusted you;
  • You fraudulently used the property for your own benefit; and (4) When you used the property you intended to deprive the owner of its use.

Embezzlement Sentencing (PC 487, 488)

If the prosecution is able to prove each of these elements, you face severe consequences, including the possibility of a lengthy jail sentence. Embezzlement is punished as a form of theft. Embezzlement is charged as either grand theft (PC 487), if the value of the property you embezzled is over $950, or as petty theft (PC 488), if the value of the property you embezzled is under $950.

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If you are being charged with embezzlement in Riverside, you need to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Embezzlement is a serious crime, and you could face severe punishment if you are convicted of embezzlement. However, having an experienced Riverside embezzlement attorney defending you could be the difference between spending years in jail and being free.

Understanding Embezzlement Charges

Embezzlement in RiversideIn order to really know what our skilled Riverside defense lawyers can do for you, you first need to understand the crime of embezzlement. You are probably wondering how the crime of embezzlement differs from grand theft and embezzlement. While embezzlement is technically a form of theft, it is considered a separate crime under California Penal Code.

Grand theft is the taking of property valued over $950. Embezzlement requires additional elements, including that the person has a legal right to access or control the property that is wrongfully taken.

If you are convicted of misdemeanor grand theft embezzlement, you face up to one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine. Felony grand theft embezzlement carries a punishment of up to 3 years in county jail and fines of up to $10,000.

6 Things to Look for in a Riverside Embezzlement Attorney

If you are facing charges of embezzlement in Riverside, you need an attorney who has experience handling embezzlement cases. If you are searching for a Riverside embezzlement lawyer, here are six things you need to look for:

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When you are facing sentencing by a judge for an embezzlement conviction, it is critical you have an experienced criminal defense law firm fighting for you.

EMBEZZLEMENT%20Penal%20Code%20503.jpgThe judge has many options available to him when he sentences you for an embezzlement conviction. The judge can:

l. Sentence you to up to 3 years in jail if you were convicted of felony embezzlement.

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Some people are their own worst enemy. Lenny Dykstra had it all – talent that allowed him to play major league baseball and win a World Series, money, and fame. Unfortunately, his alleged actions after leaving baseball have gone a long way toward casting a pall on what otherwise would be a brilliant career. A denial of a motion to drop federal charges last week is just the latest in a long succession of legal issues for this one-time Mets star.

U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson heard a motion in a Los Angeles federal court last week to dismiss charges ranging from embezzlement to bankruptcy fraud, according to CBS Sports. Dykstra was arrested in April of 2011 for allegedly hiding, selling, or destroying over $400,000 worth of items from a home of his that had been placed in a bankruptcy trust. If he is convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum of 80 years in federal prison.

If that were not enough, Dykstra is already serving three years in prison for grand theft auto and providing a false statement about his finances. In addition, he was sentenced to nine months in jail this year for exposing himself to women he met online.

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The California Courts of Appeal for the Fourth District recently held that an individual may be guilty of embezzlement even if that person intended to return the property in the future. Jorge Casas, a car salesman, was carrying out a trade-in transaction with a customer. To complete the exchange, it required Casas to drive the trade-in to the customer’s house to collect a $1,500 down payment. Casas turned a standard procedure into a 400 mile road trip in search of drugs. He was charged with embezzlement and convicted of the crime. On appeal, Casas argued that he did not intend to permanently deprive the owner; however, the conviction was upheld.

The white collar crime of embezzlement, as defined in California Penal Code § 503, is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted. The prosecution is required to show that (1) the owner entrusted the property to the defendant, (2) the owner did because he/she trusted the defendant, (3) the defendant fraudulently used or converted the property for his own benefit, and (4) the use was intended to deprive the owner of its use. Under this fourth element, however, the defendant has the requisite intent if the use significantly interferes with the owner’s enjoyment of the property.

The punishment for embezzlement depends on the value of the property. Embezzlement is a misdemeanor offense when the value is $400 or less, which carries with it up to 6 months in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. When the value exceeds $400, then it is felony embezzlement, which is punishable of up to 3 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

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Belinda Exon, the former president of Rehab Financial Services, a Huntington Beach company, plead guilty to the embezzlement of $3.9 million from 23 California cities. Exon’s now-defunct company kept federal housing grant money in escrow meant for city governments for herself to buy land in Arizona and fund two companies for herself.

Exon, who relocated to Phoenix, agreed to a plea agreement in which she pled guilty to one felony count of embezzling money from organizations that receive federal funds. The agreement suggests Exon receive a prison sentence of 3 years and 10 months, and forfeit the property she bought with the embezzled funds. The charge can carry a maximum of 10 years in prison.

According to Exon’s plea agreement, she embezzled than $1,021,000 from San Francisco, $751,000 from Pomona, half a million dollars each from Seal Beach and Huntington Park, and more than $100,000 from Rosemead, Buena Park, and Montebello. Smaller amounts were embezzled from Fullerton, Camarillo, Santa, Cruz, Encinitas, Hemet, and others.

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An Oceanside police sergeant recently pleaded guilty to charges of “receiving stolen property and knowingly accepting items purchased with embezzled funds,” according to a recent report by San Diego News 10. The man had been with the Oceanside Police Department for 10 years and was quoted as being a “rising star” in the department when he was charged. Allegedly, the man was romantically involved with a woman who had been embezzling money from a construction company at which she was employed. Prosecutors claim that the man knowingly received over $54,000 in items from the woman that he used to update his home, including mahogany wood flooring and flat-screen television sets. The officer now faces a prison sentence of 365 days in county jail.

Under California Penal Code section 496, it is a crime to knowingly buy, sell, receive, conceal, or withhold stolen property. If, for example, you buy or receive a car stereo from a person with knowledge that the person who is providing it to you has received it unlawfully, you can be prosecuted for receiving stolen property under Penal Code section 496. Depending on the severity of the case, a conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to one year in state or county jail.

If you are being charged with receiving stolen property in San Diego, it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in San Diego immediately. You will need on your side the best legal representation to fight such serious allegations. Our criminal defense lawyers at Wallin & Klarich can provide you with the skilled legal representation that comes with over 30 years of experience. Call us today at 888-280-6839 or visit us online at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.

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According to California Penal Code Section 503 Embezzlement is “the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted.” In other words, if some one entrusts you with money or property, and you use that money or property for something other than it was originally intended, you are guilty of embezzlement.

For instance, if your boss hands you a bag full of money to deposit at the bank and you intentionally use the money for something else, you’re guilty of embezzlement.

Embezzlement can have serious consequences including state prison time depending on the amount money or value of the item or items embezzled. In addition, your reputation is on the line. Crimes of moral turpitude such as embezzlement can affect your ability to work in places where trust is essential.

About Wallin & Klarich


Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.