Is embezzlement a federal theft charge?

Oregonians facing embezzlement charges should be aware that there can be different levels to these allegations. Embezzlement, which is considered theft, can either be a state or a federal crime. When an Oregonian is charged with a federal theft charge, the accused faces serious penalties including a minimum sentence if convicted. For this reason, it is important for anyone accused of embezzlement to understand the nuances of the law about this federal crime.

What is embezzlement? Embezzlement is monetary theft, which means that a person is accused of stealing money from an institution or another person. This type of crime usually happens in a corporate or employment setting.

How does it work? In embezzlement, a person that was given authority or access to another person's or institution's finances manipulates records in order to hide assets or acquire a portion of these assets for personal purposes. For example, an accountant manipulates the finances of a corporation in order to make it appear that books are balanced while skimming off a substantial amount.

Embezzlement becomes a federal theft charge when the money that was taken is from a bank, agency or any institution owned or controlled by the United States government. Besides embezzlement, an Oregonian can also be charged with federal theft if that person takes certain objects from a national park and other protected institutions.

How does someone who is accused of this deal with the charges? In order to support embezzlement charges, four factors must be established. These include a fiduciary relationship between parties, a defendant's acquisition of property using the relationship, ownership or transfer of the acquired property and establishing that the act was intentional.

An aggressive criminal defense may be able help an Oregonian prove that these factors, as well as other evidence presented by the prosecution, does not have significant merit to hold an accused liable.

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