White collar crime is an umbrella term that refers to a number of different criminal offenses. Embezzlement is one such offense, although it may be frequently confused with other white collar crimes like fraud or money laundering. Illinois defendants who are charged with embezzlement may find that having a better understanding of this charge can be helpful when creating a criminal defense plan.
There are three main elements of an embezzlement charge. To be charged with embezzlement, a person must have first had lawful possession of someone else’s property. During the period of lawful possession, he or she must have converted or taken the property for personal use. Finally, there must be no intention of returning the property.
Lawful possession can look different depending on the situation, but frequently involves someone in a workplace or corporate setting who has the legal right to handle either the company’s or a customer’s assets. Conversion can also mean many different things. Spending all of another person’s money, selling property, causing serious damage to assets or even just permanently withholding things from an owner are all considered conversions.
Allegations of embezzlement are not as clear-cut as they may seem. Like many white collar crimes, embezzlement cases are fairly nuanced. Getting the details right when crafting a strong criminal defense foundation is essential, but it can be hard without an in-depth knowledge of Illinois state law. This is why some defendants find that it is helpful to speak with an experienced attorney early on in the process.