DC Embezzlement Lawyer

Embezzlement is typically theft or fraud by a person in a position of trust against their company or some other entity to which they have access. With that said, “embezzlement” is not a specific separate crime, but is instead encompassed by the laws covering theft and fraud. However, due to the serious penalties and potential long-term ramifications, it is important those accused consult with a DC embezzlement lawyer as soon as possible to begin building a defense. An experienced fraud lawyer in DC will be able to research the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the allegation and advocate on behalf of the defendant. To discuss your case, call and schedule a consultation today.

Difference Between Embezzlement and Theft

Something is considered as embezzlement when it involves a defendant who was in a position in which they were allowed to have access to money or other property, such as a cashier or bookkeeper. In contrast, theft includes anyone – such as a person walking down the street – stealing a bike or otherwise taking something that does not belong to them. That’s an example of theft; that wouldn’t be embezzlement.

Instead, embezzlement might occur when an employee has access to the bank account information from their company and they use that information to unlawfully take money from the company for their own purposes without authority to do so. They may have authority to use the information, such as an accounts manager at a company who is responsible for approving and signing off on expenses. When that person uses their authority and position to transfer money to their own bank account or write checks to themselves for money they didn’t actually earn, that would be under the umbrella of “embezzlement” and would be prosecuted as theft and/or fraud.


The consequences for a theft conviction depend on the value of the property that was obtained. If the value was a thousand dollars or more, the person faces a felony conviction where the penalty is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If the value was less than $1,000, it is a misdemeanor where the maximum penalty is 180 days in jail and fine of $1,000.

A more immediate consequence, both prior to and after a conviction, is termination from employment and major problems going forward with the person’s job and career. When it is a felony, there are multiple other considerations with regard to loss of certain rights upon a conviction, which means anyone accused of this offense should consult with a DC embezzlement attorney as soon as possible.

Evidence Presented in Embezzlement Cases

The government must compile evidence with respect to the value of the property (usually money) that is involved. The authorities must establish how the money was stolen. If the money was taken electronically, they must have the bank accounts and other computer account information.

The authorities must put together the evidence establishing how the embezzlement occurred, from point A to point B. Point A being the bank account belonging to the company; point B being the bank account belonging to the individual who was embezzling from the company. Often, it is a several step process and the government must obtain all of the evidence establishing that chain of activity to show that this individual actually was embezzling from their employer or whoever the target was.

To accomplish this, the government will subpoena records, usually the bank records, and other computer records for both the target and the suspect to show the chain of money transfer. A DC embezzlement lawyer meanwhile will be able to find the holes in the prosecutions case and develop a strong defense based on that information.

Common Misconceptions

One common misconception is that embezzlement only covers when cash is stolen or, in other words, when someone physically takes money or property from their place of work. This is wrong, however, as embezzlement most often, particularly in the computer age, involves electronic fund transfers. These types of cases can and will be prosecuted just the same as if someone took cash.

Another common misconception is when someone is caught by their employer or other entity involved with the embezzlement, and they pay it back, thinking they won’t be or can’t be prosecuted. However this is simply not the case at all. In almost every situation when an employer finds out an employee has been embezzling money from them, they notify law enforcement and the individual will be prosecuted for the embezzlement and is required, in addition to other penalties, to repay every dime of what was taken.

Benefit of a DC Embezzlement Lawyer

It is always important to hire an embezzlement lawyer in DC who is knowledgeable about the type of case and charges that are involved. The lawyer should be familiar with jurisdiction and the specific court in which the case is being brought, as well as the other players involved including law enforcement, prosecution, judges, and court staff. A person facing embezzlement charges must be sure they have an experienced attorney who knows exactly how to present the best possible defenses and strategies going forward with the case.