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How is embezzlement a unique type of theft?

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Embezzlement can certainly be defined simply as a type of theft. It happens when someone steals from a business. It can lead to severe ramifications, and not just for that person‘s career. It could also lead to time behind bars and much more.

But embezzlement is much different than other types of theft. It typically happens when the person misappropriates funds from the business and tries to take them in a more subtle way. They’re hoping that no one will even know that the theft has occurred. They may then try to cover this up by disguising the paper trail.

An example of the difference

A good example of the difference between traditional theft and embezzlement would be a bank robbery. If someone walks into a bank and demands money, this is a very clear theft case. They are taking something that does not belong to them intentionally, by force, and there are plenty of witnesses who see it happen.

On the other hand, embezzlement could involve a bank teller. Rather than dramatically robbing the bank, this teller simply sets up a system where they slowly skim some of the money off of the top. Maybe they have some level of control over their paperwork at the end of the day, so they change the numbers to make everything match up. This is a long-term embezzlement scheme, not a one-day robbery.

So, while both crimes are types of theft, you can imagine how much different the evidence and the court case itself would be. Those who have been accused of embezzlement certainly need to know about all the legal options at their disposal and the steps that they will need to take.