What Is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement isn’t just for Wall Street players or TV crime show characters—it’s a surprisingly common crime that occurs when someone steals from their employer or another person that has entrusted them with a piece of property or other valuable material. If you think an employee has stolen property or money from you and you want to see some justice, you may be able to pursue a claim of embezzlement in San Francisco, CA.

What is the legal definition of embezzlement?

Embezzlement occurs when someone steals or misappropriates a piece of property or money with which they have been entrusted over the course of their employment. The person has the permission to handle this sensitive property, but instead of taking care of it in the interests of their employer or the other person who has entrusted them with it, they choose to do so in their own interests—effectively, they are stealing from another person.

In many cases, this might be an employee who doesn’t understand why the employer gets to deal with so much money—and doesn’t see the harm in taking a little extra for themselves.

What are some examples of embezzlement?

Some common ways embezzlement can be committed in San Francisco, CA are as follows:

  • Taking a little off the top: Charging your customers a little extra (and pocketing the cash) can be a form of embezzlement.
  • Cashing vendor checks: If your employee is cashing vendor checks into their own account, they may be embezzling funds from your company.
  • Adding fake employees: Have you seen fictitious employees added to your payroll? This could be a sign that someone is embezzling funds.
  • Moving money to a personal account: Just like cashing vendor accounts into a personal one, moving business money to a personal account is a major warning flag for embezzlement.
  • Bribes and tampering: When an employee receives bribes or otherwise tampers with client accounts for personal gain, this can also be considered embezzlement.
  • Takes money for gambling: Your employee might take money to gamble during certain sports games—this is also considered embezzlement.
  • Credit cards and company checks: If your employees use company checks or credit cards to conduct transactions, this is embezzlement and can be a major problem.
  • Changing time records: Another way an employee can steal from you is if they change their time records to receive more money from you than they should. Obviously, a discrepancy here and there may just be human error, but if it’s a regular problem, you may want to pursue charges or at least fire them.

What can I do about embezzlement?

If you’ve determined that someone is embezzling from you, you have grounds to pursue both civil and criminal charges. Criminal charges come with jail time and potential restitution, while civil charges may involve garnishing wages and bank accounts to help restore the company.
For help dealing with these and other examples of embezzlement in San Francisco, CA, contact Medina & Company Consulting, Inc. today. We can help you determine your course of action or help you create a detailed case file.

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