Federal Embezzlement Prosecutions in DC

In any kind of case where the government alleges that a person was engaged in theft or fraud, they’re going to have to show that the defendants knowingly took some action with the intent to deprive the lawful owner of the property of the services or the goods, usually money. They’re going to have to show that it wasn’t an accident or mistake but that there was actual intent to take that item for their own use or someone else’s use, but certainly not the actual owner’s use.

They have to show that there was knowledge and intent. They’re also going to have to prove that the individual was acting purposely, that it was not a situation where someone made an accounting mistake but that this was a situation where the person actually intended to take the goods. Therefore a DC federal embezzlement lawyer will attempt to show that the defendant either didn’t have the intent or knowledge to be guilty of embezzlement.

Common Types of Evidence in Embezzlement Cases

In an embezzlement case, almost always you will see lots of documentary evidence. The government will use subpoenas to get bank records,  company records, individual’s records, and even phone records if applicable. But certainly, you will see bank records from the business or agency and any other kind of documents that were involved. If it’s other kinds of goods or services, then the government is going to seek any documents from the individual to the agency, entity, or business to prove the involvement of that individual in the embezzlement.

As with all cases, they’ll also see if there are any live witnesses who can substantiate the person’s actions. If there happen to be phone calls about it, then they’ll certainly seek to get phone records. If something is caught on video, then they’ll want to get that as well.

There are video cameras everywhere now so people are caught on camera as they are entering an office lobby. They will be captured on video at a specific time and location that can then tie them to bank records which show when a specific account was accessed. So, if that’s applicable in the case, the government will seek to get all those records as well.

Defenses in Embezzlement Cases

Well, again, the government has to prove that the individual was intending to take the action with the intent to deprive the lawful owner of the property. In other words, if it was a mistake, then that’s not embezzlement, theft, or fraud.

We will always look to see if the government can prove that, number one, my client was actually involved; number two, that my client intended to actually do something; and number three, was there intent to gain some benefit for themselves at the expense of another. We would attack each step along the way to show that the government just lacks the evidence to tie it all in together.