Embezzlement Charges

Embezzlement involves taking property that has been entrusted to you but belongs to someone else. Embezzlement tends to be thought of as someone taking large sums of money from a company. Most often, it involves employees taking small sums of money or property from a business. Embezzlement differs from theft because you may not intend to keep the items or property permanently.

Some common examples:

  • You are responsible for going to the bank and making deposits for your club. You regularly take $100 out of the deposit for yourself.
  • As a bookkeeper, you pay the $100 power bill by writing yourself a check for $200. You cash the check and pocket the difference.

Penalties for Embezzlement

  • In California, embezzlement can be punished similarly to grand theft or petty theft, depending on the value of the items or property.
  • If  the items are worth more that $950 or are an automobile or firearm, it is considered grand theft which can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. Misdemeanor embezzlement is punishable by up to 1 year in jail. Felony embezzlement is punishable by up to 3 years in prison.
  • For petty theft (value under $950), it is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail.