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Embezzlement

Facing criminal charges can be confusing, anxiety-inducing, and even scary. In some cases, individuals may have committed the crime for which they have been charged, recognizing that they have made a serious mistake. In other situations, people are accused of crimes that they did not commit.

Handcuffed Person With Money

A Michigan embezzlement defense lawyer can get started on your case today.

What is Embezzlement Under Michigan Law?

According to Section 750.174 of the Michigan Penal Code, embezzlement is defined as a crime in which the following are true of the individual accused of the crime:

  • Was entrusted with the property of another person or entity as an agent, servant, or employee; and
  • Took or intended to take, without the consent of the other person or entity, the money, property, or other assets with which the individual was entrusted.

To put it another way, embezzlement occurs when a person who is entrusted with another party’s money or property steals (or attempts to steal) that money or property. Embezzlement is a lot like theft, but a key element to an embezzlement offense is that the defendant had access to another person’s property or money through a relationship of trust, but did not have ownership of that property or money. Then, when the defendant steals (or tries to steal) the money, the fact that there was a relationship of trust with the money or property can lead to am embezzlement charge instead of a theft offense.

Penalties for an Embezzlement Conviction in Michigan

Depending upon the amount of money or property embezzled, a defendant can face either a misdemeanor or a felony conviction and resulting penalties, including the following:

  • Money or property embezzled has a value of less than $200: misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 93 days and/or a fine of $500 or three times the value of the property embezzled (whichever is greater);
  • Money or property embezzled has a value of at least $200 but less than $1,000: misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to one year and/or a fine of $2,000 or three times the value of the property embezzled (whichever is greater);
  • Money or property embezzled has a value of at least $1,000 but less than $20,000: felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to five years and/or a fine of $10,000 or three times the value of the property embezzled (whichever is greater);
  • Money or property embezzled has a value of at least $20,000 but less than $50,000: felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years and/or a fine of $15,000 or three times the value of the property embezzled (whichever is greater);
  • Money or property embezzled has a value of at least $50,000 but less than $100,000: felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 15 years and/or a fine of $25,000 or three times the value of the property embezzled (whichever is greater); and
  • Money or property embezzled has a value of $100,000 or more: felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years and/or a fine of $50,000 or three times the value of the property embezzled (whichever is greater).

In some cases, penalties can increase for previous embezzlement convictions and when embezzlement affects a nonprofit corporation or a charitable organization.

Contact a Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer

Are you facing embezzlement charges? A criminal defense lawyer in Michigan can help. Contact the Michigan Defense Law to learn more about how we can assist with your defense.

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My son was charged with two serious felonies for home invasion. Paul worked long and hard on the case and was able to negotiate a deal so that all of the charges were dismissed after my son completed probation. He is now in college without a criminal record. Mr. T.
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I was arrested for drunk driving and possession of a controlled substance (Vicodin). Paul worked hard on the case and kept the felony off my record and got the drunk driving case reduced so that I kept my driver’s license and my job. He really cared about helping me. J.T.
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When I recently had an issue at the airport, I decided to call Paul on the weekend. He called me back on a Sunday! He dealt with my issue without me having to fly back to Michigan and got it dismissed. Until you go through the court system especially for the first time, you don’t have a sense for how harrowing it can be. E.W.