Gwinnett County Embezzlement Lawyer
Embezzlement means that a person converted the property in their possession to their use, and this often involves employees stealing items from their employers at work. These cases may also include guardians, bankers, accountants, and other people in unique relationships taking things that do not belong to them. If another person accuses you of stealing their property after they gave it to you, you may need to speak with an experienced fraud attorney. A Gwinnett County embezzlement lawyer could help you mitigate the charges made against you by building a convincing defense.
Common Examples of Embezzlement Offenders
If the owner of property puts another person in legal possession of that property, the person in possession has certain rights. However, the property still belongs to the valid owner and should only be used for the owner’s benefit. The possessor is meant to keep the property safe for the owner.
A legal guardian may hold a ward’s property. The guardian cannot use the money to buy items for the guardian. Instead, the funds should be used to help the ward.
A banker or accountant should protect money which belongs to other people. If a customer deposits money with the bank or in their account, the money still belongs to the customer.
If a boss asks an employee to hold company property, the employee must act for the employer and not take the property for the employee’s benefit.
Embezzlement Law in Gwinnett County
The Georgia Code refers to embezzlement, otherwise known as theft by conversion, in §16-8-4. If a person has some legal obligation to the property and converts it to their use, that may be considered theft by conversion. Also, when a government agent or financial institution fails to deliver money when requested that was held in an account, that may also be considered embezzlement.
The property at issue must be worth at least $100. If the person was renting or leasing property, and the rightful owner requested that the holder return the property, the holder has stolen the item if the holder does not restore the subject in five days. For more information, contact an embezzlement lawyer in Gwinnett County.
Criminal Sanctions for Embezzlement
If the goods converted are worth more than $24,999.99, that is a felony, and the court may put the actor in jail for up to 20 years. All other acts of theft may be felonies or misdemeanors, at the court’s discretion.
The judge may send a person to jail for up to ten years for taking goods worth at least $5,000.00. If the actor embezzled assets worth at least $1,500.01, the person might end up in prison for five years.
If a fiduciary takes items, the court may sentence that person to 15 years in jail. A fiduciary is someone with a particular legal relationship to another person, such as a trustee or guardian.
Potential Penalties for Embezzlement of Leased or Rented Property
If a person leased or rented the property and then converts it, the court may order the renter or lessor to pay the cost of replacement. This may include the following:
- The fair market value of the item either as of the date of conversion or time of trial
- Rental charges from the date of the agreement to the date the owner gets the property back
- Interest on unpaid balances and court-ordered replacement costs until the judgment is satisfied
If the court places a person on probation, the probation does not end until the defendant repays all debts as ordered by the court. If the owner incurred other damages and costs, the court might order the defendant to pay those, as well. An accomplished lawyer could help a defendant avoid the harsh penalties that come with embezzlement charges.
A Gwinnett County Embezzlement Attorney Could Advise You
If another person accused you stealing their property, you might not take those charges seriously. However, if the police investigate you, you may find your life affected. Consider speaking with a Gwinnett County embezzlement lawyer at the first sign that you may experience legal trouble. Conversion charges may lie on a misunderstanding, but it can take months or years to sort out these matters, and in the meantime, your life may be on hold. See what you can do to protect yourself and fight for a positive outcome.