Embezzlement is a type of theft that occurs when a person uses a position of power or control to take money or financial assets from others. Louisiana residents may often hear allegations of this crime occurring in banks or other institutions where individuals invest their money with the intention of seeing their assets grow. Charges of embezzlement are very serious, though, and if a person is convicted can result in the imposition of significant penalties.
This post will touch on what prosecutors must prove in order to meet the requirements of an embezzlement charge, but readers are cautioned that the contents contained herein are not legal advice. There are several elements that must be present for embezzlement charges to attach to an alleged crime. Particularly, there must be some type of relationship of trust between the person accused of embezzlement and the alleged victim for the crime to happen. In legal terms, the accused must have a fiduciary duty to the victim rather than a casual relationship or no relationship at all.
Next, the individual accused of embezzling must use their relationship with the alleged victim to acquire money or property and then must take that property as their own. A person cannot accidentally embezzle from another: the crime of embezzlement requires intention on the part of the accused for the elements of the charge to be met.
Embezzlement and other white collar crimes arise from the public's interest in not only having their physical safety protected but also their financial and property assets kept safe as well. The law takes white collar crimes very seriously and individuals who are facing embezzlement, fraud and other financial crimes are reminded that they have rights and legal options for defending themselves against their charges.