Embezzlement is a form of property theft that occurs when the accused is entrusted to manage a person’s funds or property. The crime is committed by just having possession of the property, the accused does not have to have legal ownership of the property. The elements required to prove embezzlement are: (1) intending to take possession; (2) when the accused is entrusted with an owner’s property; (3) a fiduciary relationship exists between the accused and the owner; (4) the accused fraudulently converts the property; and (5) the accused interferes with the owner’s right to the property. Penalties for embezzlement depend on the value of the property that was embezzled. Class A Misdemeanor – property value of $500 or less resulting in up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Class C Felony – property value of $500-$25,000 resulting in up to 7 years in prison and a fine of $5,000. Class B Felony – property value of $25,000 or more resulting in up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $20,000. Embezzlement is a serious crime. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the charges against you and guide you through the options that are available. In some cases, you may be able to get the charges thrown out all together or at the least have your charges reduced. Contact Howard Haake at (314) 325-9868 or (636) 332-5555 for a free consultation regarding your embezzlement charge and learn what rights and remedies are best for your situation.