What is a Federal Embezzlement Charge?
As a general rule, the Federal government only brings embezzlement charges when the property is Federal. The theft of tools for counterfeiting and sensitive records are included. In fact, 18 U.S.C. § 649, Sections 641 through 669 provide 29 specific scenarios under which Federal Embezzlement charges may be brought against a defendant. For more information about each individual charge, click here.
Following is a complete list of all Federal embezzlement charges…
- Public money, property or records
- Tools and materials for counterfeiting purposes
- Accounting generally for public money
- Banker receiving unauthorized deposit of public money
- Court officers generally
- Court officers depositing registry moneys
- Receiving loan from court officer
- Custodians, generally, misusing public funds
- Custodians failing to deposit moneys; persons affected
- Depositaries failing to safeguard deposits
- Disbursing officer falsely certifying full payment
- Disbursing officer paying lesser in lieu of lawful amount
- Disbursing officer misusing public funds
- Officer or employee of United States converting property of another
- Theft by bank examiner
- Theft, embezzlement, or misapplication by bank officer or employee
- Lending, credit and insurance institutions
- Property mortgaged or pledged to farm credit agencies
- Interstate or foreign shipments by carrier; State prosecutions
- Carrier’s funds derived from commerce; State prosecutions
- Within special maritime and territorial jurisdiction
- Receiving stolen property within special maritime and territorial jurisdiction
- Solicitation or use of gifts
- Theft or embezzlement from employee benefit plan
- Theft or embezzlement from employment and training funds; improper inducement; obstruction of investigations
- Theft or bribery concerning programs receiving Federal funds
- Theft of livestock
- Theft of major artwork
- Theft or embezzlement in connection with health care
What are the Penalties if Convicted of Federal Embezzlement Charges?
Generally, there are two levels of Federal embezzlement charges…
- Misdemeanor – carries fines to $100,000 and a minimum six-month imprisonment
- Felony – $250,000 and up in fines, depending on the amount embezzled from the government and up to 30 year’s prison
- Loss of Job/Position/Reputation – The first loss you will experience if convicted will likely be your government job. At minimum, you will be seriously demoted, but most likely fired. In addition, your reputation will follow you and obtaining employment in a similar position will be unlikely.
Because the USSC uses a point system for determination of the sentence rendered, it may be helpful to consider that the Base Levels range from six to 36. The monetary losses associated with those levels is less than $5000 and greater than $400 million.
However, in the event that the crime was committed by a corporation, the fines are doubled and double the amount stolen/lost will be assessed along with an amount set according to offense (18 USC § 3571).
In the event that you are convicted of Federal Embezzlement charges, part of your sentence will be based on your prior criminal history. So if you have a clear record, the penalties will likely, though not necessarily, be light. To be sure you get the best possible outcome, you need an attorney such as Jason A Korner in your corner.
What Are Defenses to a Federal Embezzlement Charge?
Considering how specific the laws related to Federal Embezzlement violations, the first step in forming a defense would be to gather the specifics of the case. The goal will be to find mitigating circumstances which may be used for leverage against or the elimination of charges.
Another approach would be to consider alternatives to criminal punishment. For instance, sometimes the judge will accept a repayment of stolen funds or some other alternative as he/she deems appropriate.
The statute of limitations for such charges is five years from commission of the alleged crime (18 USC 3282).
Is Embezzlement a state or federal crime?
Embezzlement can be either a state or Federal crime. Federal charges are determined by what was stolen. If no Federal property was involved, the charges will be state. If state embezzlement charges are considered, the penalties are levied according to the value of the theft.
How much time do you get for embezzlement?
In the Federal system, the time for embezzlement ranges from six months minimum to 30 years. However, the fines can range from $5000 to $500,000 generally, but can be in the millions.
State charges vary widely, but in Missouri, embezzlement is punished according to the amount stolen as follows…
- $500 or less = up to $1000 fine and/or one year in jail
- $500 – $25,000 = fines $5,000 to $20,000 + up to seven year’s imprisonment (Note some exceptions to the $500 minimum. Property involved for this purpose includes that which was to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamines, involved a motor vehicle, firearms, original legal documents of a specific nature, voter registration records, livestock, or historic documents of significance.)
- $25,000 + (or any amount of liquid nitrogen or anhydrous ammonia) = up to $20,000 fines and between 5 and 15 year’s imprisonment
What is embezzlement of public funds?
Embezzlement of public funds occurs when someone misappropriates public monies. Perhaps funds were “borrowed” with the intent to repay or simply taken. In either case, public trust is violated and in most cases, the person facing embezzlement of public funds will also face corruption charges. Click here for more information regarding Federal Corruption Charges.