When one thinks of the term fraud, they may not be aware that there are specific types of fraud that one can be accused of committing and each different type has specific elements that must be proven in a court of law. Louisiana residents may be quick to brush all deception under the umbrella of fraud, but legally it encompasses a number of crimes and it is important to understand the allegations one is facing if they are to be fought effectively.
First, fraud, broadly, is knowingly misrepresenting or concealing the truth or material facts from someone else to induce them to act to their own detriment. Embezzlement is a form of fraud in which someone has wrongly appropriated funds or personal property that was entrusted to them. Usually it deals with misappropriation of money and in an employment setting.
It differs from larceny in the sense that someone has the right to possess the funds when it comes to embezzlement. Therefore, it is essential to show that the employee had control or possession of the goods or funds because of their position or that they had the authority to exercise substantial control over the items. This is demonstrated through the elements of the crime, which must be proven in order to prove embezzlement.
The first thing that must be proven is that there was a fiduciary relationship between the two parties, a relationship of trust, and, secondly, that the property must have been acquired through that relationship rather than through some other manner. Third, the person must have either taken ownership of the property or transferred it to someone else and lastly, that the person being accused of embezzlement must have done all this intentionally.
Proving all aspects of the crime of embezzlement can be quite difficult and an experienced defense attorney may be able to aggressively challenge aspects of the prosecution’s case to protect Louisiana residents’ rights.