Embezzlement is a white collar crime that can be charged against a person when it is suspected that some form of financial fraud has taken place. In most cases, it occurs when a business or a non-profit puts their assets under the control of a person who then misuses them for another purpose.

Embezzlement can take place over long periods of time and can be difficult to detect, and difficult to prove in some instances. Often times, these types of cases involve a large amount of financial forensic discovery.

Common embezzlement defenses

Fortunately, there are several possible defenses that can be employed. Some of the more common defenses include:

Entrapment. This defense can be used in instances where the government may compel an innocent person to commit a crime they would not have committed under normal circumstances.

Insufficient evidence. It is one thing to be charged with embezzlement, but quite another to produce enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is often used as a defense strategy because many times, evidence can be difficult to uncover.

Duress. When people feel threatened, they may feel compelled to commit a crime to protect themselves or their loved ones. However, duress defenses usually fall short when they involve protecting yourself by paying debts, gambling losses or to fuel a drug or alcohol problem.

Insanity/incapacity. Mental illness is sometimes used, but it can be difficult to prove as a way to have charges dismissed. Incapacity defenses are sometimes used when you can prove you were not in control in a particular instance due to drugs or medications, which caused you to make a mistake in handling assets.

Hire an attorney as soon as possible

If you’re charged with embezzlement, you will need to retain the services of an experienced embezzlement defense attorney as soon as possible. Fines and prison time can be significant if you are charged, depending on the size and scope of the case against you. Much of the plaintiff’s motivation will focus on recovering most or all of the allegedly embezzled funds. A skilled attorney can help you negotiate a more favorable outcome using this as leverage if at all possible.

The Law Office of Ginger Kelley serves clients in Newport Beach, Santa Ana and communities throughout Orange County, California.