If you’ve been accused of embezzlement, you’ll need a strong defense.
Article 155 of the New York Penal Law details the circumstances under which someone may face embezzlement charges. Embezzlement charges vary and include criminal possession of stolen property, second-degree forgery, possession of a forged instrument, falsifying business records, or false filing of documents intended to defraud the public.
In most cases, embezzlement is charged as a felony and not as a misdemeanor. Any finding of guilt could result in a prison term of at least one year or more. Under the law, prison sentences meted out for embezzlement are often mandatory.
In nearly all cases, embezzlement will be charged in conjunction with other felony charges, the most common of which is larceny. All larceny charges carry felony charges and those found guilty may face four to twenty-five years in prison.
Oftentimes, larceny charges are lodged only after an extensive investigation. Actions such as improper use of a credit card, making wire transfers illegally, or obtaining funds through the use of fraudulent checks may all be prosecuted under both larceny and embezzlement statutes.
Under the law, it is possible to defend against embezzlement and larceny charges using an affirmative defense. An affirmative defense is based on the claim that you accessed funds legally and in good faith. It is important to understand that while you may believe you used funds in good faith, a judge or jury may not see it that way.
New York law allows embezzlement charges to be punished based on the value of the property that is stolen. When found guilty of embezzlement of $1,000 or less, you could face up to one year in prison and be responsible for restitution of up to double the amount embezzled. The most severe penalties are exercised when the amount of funds exceeds $100,000. You may face penalties of up to double the amount embezzled plus as many as 25 years in prison.
If you have been contacted by a law enforcement officer to talk to you about potentially questionable financial transactions, it is imperative that you contact a white-collar defense attorney immediately. It is important to understand that just because someone is being investigated for embezzlement, this does not mean it can be proven.
At Solomon Richman P.C., we understand New York embezzlement laws and know how serious they are. We also are aware that you will need an advocate on your side to help you fight these charges. Nearly anyone may be charged with embezzlement, including caregivers, bank employees, or anyone who handles money for a company of any size. It is important to take these charges very seriously, and equally as important to take an investigation seriously. If you are currently facing charges or are under investigation for potential embezzlement, contact Solomon Richman P.C. and let us help protect your rights and fight to help you avoid facing felony charges and jail time that may be associated with a guilty finding. Don’t risk your future when you are uncertain about potential charges lodged against you. If you have reason to believe you are under investigation for embezzlement, contact us immediately at (516) 437-6443 for help.