Denver Embezzlement Attorney
What is Embezzlement?
Colorado combines embezzlement with other forms of theft, such as larceny, stealing, shoplifting, false pretenses, and confidence games into one category known as theft crimes. Because of this consolidation, embezzlement charges will be charged as theft, and the term embezzlement will be used to enhance the severity of the sentence and indicate a violation of trust.
Embezzlement occurs when a person is given control or over assets or property and steals what they are responsible for overseeing. Embezzlement crimes tend to take place in various job settings. For example, accounting embezzlement involves manipulating financial records to conceal stolen funds.
People who commit embezzlement are often given lawful possession over the assets they end up stealing. There are numerous reasons a person will allow access to their property or money, but the most common reason is to have someone look out for their best interest. Unfortunately, some people misappropriate the assets they are responsible for and use them for their own personal gain.
Common examples of embezzlement involve employees like store clerks or bank tellers misusing money that belongs to their employers. The embezzler can take a large amount of money at once, or slowly gather the funds over a long period of time. Misusing an employer’s property can also qualify as embezzlement in certain situations.
There many creative ways that people can embezzle money from their employer, including:
- Fraudulent billing
- Fabricated payroll checks
- Falsifying records
- “Ponzi” financial schemes
For a crime to be considered embezzlement, it must contain four elements:
- The parties involved in the case must have a fiduciary relationship. This means that one party is reliant on the services of the other.
The accused must have obtained the property or money through the established relationship.
The accused must have claimed ownership of the stolen property or transferred the property to another person.
The accused acted intentionally when stealing or misusing the property or money.
Embezzlement can happen on many levels, and a low-level worker stealing petty cash has committed embezzlement just the same as a CEO skimming funds from their company has.
Accused of embezzlement in Colorado? Work with Orr Law Firm today!
What are Aggravating Factors for Embezzlement?
It can be difficult to predict penalties for any given case, due to the many ways embezzlement can occur. There are factors that can increase the charges, known as aggravating factors. Aggravating factors include a violation of trust and theft from “at risk” victims, such as elderly or disabled adults.
Because embezzlement can easily occur when the accused is in a position of high trust, such as a caretaker, banker, or public servant, the penalties are much stricter for those who have taken advantage of people who have trusted them.
What are the Penalties for Embezzlement in Colorado?
Because of the many forms embezzlement can take, the penalties for charges can vary widely. In Colorado, the charges and penalties are as follows:
- Less than $500 taken: The defendant is charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor, and can be fined $250 to $1,000, serve a maximum of 6 months in jail, or both.
- $500 to $1,000 taken: The defendant will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, and can be fined $500 to $5,000, serve between 6 to 18 months in prison, or both.
- $1,000 to $20,000 taken: The defendant will be charged with a Class 4 felony, and can be fined $2,000 to $50,000, serve 2 to 6 years in prison, serve a maximum of 3 years on parole, or all of these.
- $20,000 or more taken: The defendant will be charged with a Class 3 felony, and can be fined $3,000 to $750,000, serve 4 to 12 years in prison, serve up to 5 years on parole, or all of these.
Defending Embezzlement Cases in Colorado
Because of the complexity of white collar crimes, like embezzlement, it can be difficult for the prosecutor to make their case. In smaller prosecutors’ offices and state courts, handling a complicated white collar crime case can be a near-impossible task. The system can struggle to handle long-running investigations with thousands of documents involved. In federal courts, the opposite is true. When selecting an attorney to defend you, be sure to keep this difference in mind.
Protect Your Future with Orr Law Firm
Embezzlement charges can have serious consequences, and it is important to defend yourself with an experienced firm. Orr Law Firm has extensive experience handling criminal cases, and we offer the high-quality criminal defense. Our team believes in strong communication as the basis of a trusting relationship, so we will strive to ensure you feel connected and understand your case.
Our trial-tested reputation comes from years of practice, and you can trust that our Denver white collar crimes defense attorneys will work to defend you from your charges. You deserve a defense that works for you. Don’t let your embezzlement charges ruin your life.