You’ve likely heard about embezzlement in the news and on many a website, but you may not be sure what it means. When a person embezzles money, they’re taking money that they were trusted to manage or handle at some point. Instead of using the money for its original, intended purpose, the individual may set the money aside for themselves, using it to pay their mortgage, go on shopping sprees, make car payments, or even use their new funds to live a more luxurious lifestyle.
Is It a Crime?
Embezzlement is a crime and it’s often considered a premeditated one. The reason the crime of embezzlement is often considered premeditated is due to the fact that the person who allegedly committed embezzlement usually may think about stealing some of the funds and then puts a plan in motion to try to conceal the fact that they’ve used those funds on themselves rather than using the funds on whatever they were intentionally meant for. The exact type of punishment a person will receive for the crime will vary from case to case because each case is unique.
In some instances, when only a small amount of money has been taken, the individual may be required to pay the money back. However, when a larger sum of money is taken, the individual may be looking at the possibility of spending up to 20 years behind bars for embezzling funds. The person may need to start paying off a fine for stealing the money in the first place.
Why Do People Do It?
Some people embezzle funds because they’re in bad situations and are tempted by the cash they’re seeing in front of them when they’re at work. However, it’s not an excuse for their decision to commit such a crime that takes money away from the person, people, or organization it was intended for. Some people even choose to embezzle funds from organizations that are raising money to help other people, which is downright wrong.
There are a lot of different cases of embezzlement that occur in the United States and there is a chance you’ve heard about some of these different cases at some point. If you’re ever in a trusted position where you’re dealing with funds that are meant for an organization or business of some sort, make sure you’re documenting everything and keeping those funds in order. The last thing you’d want to be accused of is committing a crime that is as serious as embezzlement because it could cause you to lose your job, deal with fines, and end up in jail.