Embezzlement charges carry serious consequences that can follow a convicted person for the rest of their life. Viewed as a violation of trust, embezzlement tends to be treated harshly by the legal system. The penalties may include steep fines, a prison sentence, and lasting damage to your reputation.

A Hennepin County embezzlement lawyer could evaluate your case and work to reduce or dismiss your charges. An attorney knowledgeable of the laws surrounding this kind of financial crime could provide a strong defense and explore every opportunity to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

Examples of Embezzlement

Embezzlement occurs when a person takes funds that have been entrusted to them and uses them for their own benefit. The crime differs from ordinary theft, primarily in that it involves a violation of trust. The following are examples of embezzlement:

  • A money manager siphoning off client funds to finance their lifestyle
  • A cashier slipping money from the cash register to cover an evening’s entertainment
  • A scientific researcher using grant money to pay for their children’s private education
  • A hospital employee padding Medicare invoices to fund their personal utility bills

No matter how minor an act of embezzlement may seem, a conviction can damage a person’s employment prospects and hurt their livelihood for many years. A Hennepin County attorney understands the potentially serious consequences of an embezzlement conviction and could work to achieve a just result.

Embezzlement Penalties

The state has different laws that address penalties for embezzlement, depending on whether the embezzled funds are public or private.

Public Funds

There are specific laws to address the embezzlement of public funds, such as an operating fund for a public library or payments issued through public benefits programs. If the embezzled funds are not more than $2,500, the maximum prison sentence is five years, and the maximum fine is $10,000.  If the embezzled funds exceed $2,500, the maximum penalties increase to ten years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Private Funds

Embezzlement of private funds in Hennepin County is addressed under the state’s general theft and larceny statutes. The penalties for embezzlement of private funds depend on a number of factors, including the monetary amount involved. If the embezzlement is valued at more than $35,000, the maximum penalties could be a twenty-year prison sentence and a $100,000 fine.

If firearms or controlled substances are involved, penalties tend to be harsher. An existing criminal record can also influence fines and sentencing. A Hennepin County attorney could evaluate the specific details of an embezzlement case and predict the potential penalties given the nature of the charges.

Responding to Embezzlement Charges

The legal defenses to an embezzlement charge can include lack of evidence, lack of intent to steal, insanity, and incapacity. The prosecutor’s failure to meet the applicable statute of limitations can also be a defense, as there is a deadline of three years for most misdemeanors and two years for most felonies.

A Hennepin County embezzlement attorney experienced in local white-collar criminal cases could help an accused individual develop the best available defense.

Let a Hennepin County Embezzlement Attorney Take on Your Case

An embezzlement conviction may result in a period of incarceration and large fines, and even an accusation can significantly harm your reputation and make it difficult to find suitable employment going forward. A Hennepin County embezzlement lawyer could offer valuable legal advice and work diligently to obtain the best outcome possible. Contact us today to learn more about your options.