Category: White Collar Crime
Contributor: Mick Mickelsen – Dallas White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer
Contact: (214) 720-9552.
Embezzlement is a form of financial fraud that involves using funds or other assets entrusted to you for a purpose other than intended by the owner of the assets. Embezzlement is a criminal offense under federal and Texas state laws.
In this article, read an interview with Dallas defense attorney Mick Mickelsen about his experience with cases involving embezzlement. With decades of experience defending white collar crime cases in Texas federal and state courts, Mr. Mickelsen is a board certified expert in criminal law for trials and appeals and a partner at Broden & Mickelsen Criminal Defense Attorneys.
Q: Are there any surprising or not commonly known actions that count as embezzlement?
The one thing that people sometimes do and then are surprised they are charged with a crime, is have control over a company’s money and “lend” it to themselves. Any unauthorized use of someone else’s money is likely to be construed as some form of theft.
Q: What is the difference between embezzlement and theft?
Embezzlement is taking money entrusted to one and converting it to one’s own benefit. It is a form of theft. Theft is broader, it is simply taking something that does not belong to you.
Related article: Overview of Federal Money Laundering Statutes
Q: How common are embezzlement charges in your experience?
Embezzlement is quite common. Often disgruntled employees rationalize stealing from their employer.
Q: What penalties are usually involved in an embezzlement case?
A lot depends on whether one is charged in Federal or State court. In State court, even when the dollar amounts taken are large, the State usually wants the defendant to be placed on community supervision (probation) and pay back the money over time. In Federal court, restitution is secondary. Any amounts over $100,000 are likely going to end up resulting in prison time.
Q: Who investigates and prosecutes embezzlement cases?
Usually with respect to Federal cases the FBI investigates. In State cases usually it’s an investigation conducted by the local police department.
Q: What are the most common forms of embezzlement that you see as a defense attorney?
As I said before the most common embezzlement case arises when a disgruntled employee rationalizes the theft. The other common scenario is the defendant was under financial stress and merely intended to “borrow” the money.
Q: What does the prosecution need to show to make a good case against someone charged with embezzlement?
These cases are usually easy to prosecute. The prosecution usually has to merely show that the defendant took money to which the defendant was entrusted and then used it for their own benefit.
Q: What are some potential defense strategies for embezzlement?
Probably the most likely defense was “mistake.” I once had a case in which the defendant was paying money from his personal funds into the company and then repaying himself. We are able to show that he paid more in than he took out and successfully defend the case on that basis.
Dallas White Collar Crime Defense Attorneys — Broden & Mickelsen
If you have been charged with criminal offenses, it is crucial to discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer who has experience handling white collar crime cases. Broden & Mickelsen provides aggressive and ethical representation to individuals and businesses accused of criminal offenses. The firm accomplishes this through its unique team approach to criminal defense, which involves both partners actively participating in the case.
To achieve a favorable resolution, Broden and Mickelsen evaluate each case individually and utilize all the resources available. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization has certified criminal defense attorneys Clint Broden and Mick Mickelsen as experts in criminal law for trials and appeals.
Call Broden & Mickelsen to discuss the details of your case today: (214) 720-9552.