Embezzlement might involve someone in accounting writing checks to themselves or an executive assistant pocketing petty cash. Embezzling can also involve the misuse of a company credit card or the physical theft of property from an employer.
Any of these actions can cause real financial harm to an employer, despite potentially seeming insignificant to the worker who is engaging in them. Employees in Florida will likely face aggressive prosecution when accused of embezzlement, so it is important to put the common misconception that “stealing from a company” is no big deal to rest.
Offenders face jail time and fines
Those facing state embezzlement charges in Florida might face misdemeanor or possibly felony charges, depending on the value of the items involved. Only in cases where the items taken are worth less than $300 will the state bring misdemeanor charges against the worker. Misdemeanor embezzlement offenses could lead to up to a year in jail and a fine of $1,000 at most. There are two different kinds of misdemeanor embezzlement with differing penalties.
Felony embezzlement also comes in varying degrees. The lowest felony embezzlement charge might lead to up to $5,000 in fines and up to five years in prison. Such penalties apply in cases involving less than $20,000 of property. Once the property is worth more than $20,000 but under $100,000, the penalties may include up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Those accused of at least $100,000 of embezzlement could face up to 30 years in state custody and $10,000 in fines. There are often also financial penalties associated with embezzlement charges that result in someone needing to make payments to their former employer.
How do people fight embezzlement charges?
There are many reasons that someone who has never intentionally misappropriated resources from their employer could face embezzlement charges. Sometimes, what looks like criminal behavior is the result of a mistake or mediocre job performance. Other times, the person who appears to have embezzled might be a scapegoat for someone else.
Evidence that an employer or prosecutor has will influence the best ways for the accused professional to defend themselves. Reviewing this evidence carefully will be an important part of fighting back against white-collar criminal charges and mitigating the risk of suffering severe consequences as a result of a conviction.