Dupage County Lawyers

Have You Been Charged With Embezzlement?

REAL PROBLEMS. REAL SOLUTIONS.

If you have been accused of embezzlement in Illinois, you face severe consequences that include lengthy prison sentences, fines, and restitution, and in some cases, you can also be prosecuted under federal law.

Embezzlement occurs when a person who doesn’t own but has legal access to another’s property takes or uses it for personal gain. Embezzlement can be large-scale, such as when a CPA changes numbers while bookkeeping, or less severe, such as when an employee takes products or goods from a store or cash from a register.

Prosecutors have become extremely zealous about pursuing white collar crimes like embezzlement, and if your crime reaches the federal level, you may be subject to mandatory minimum sentencing in federal prison.  It is essential to get the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to defend against these charges and help you avoid conviction or negotiate lesser charges or penalties.

The skilled and seasoned Illinois criminal law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., provide aggressive defense to those accused of embezzlement and thoroughly investigate all claims. We take the time to listen to and understand each client’s story and work to find the most solid and compelling defense possible. We know the courts and the criminal justice system, and how to plea bargain, negotiate and recognize when to take your case to trial.

We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your individual situation and find the best way to defend your rights and liberty. Call our DuPage County embezzlement defense lawyers today or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.

Illinois Laws on Embezzlement

Embezzlement offenses involve the taking of assets, money or property by a person entrusted with their care, frequently from an employer. The property is acquired by the embezzler through the relationship with the victim, and the embezzler knowingly and intentionally takes ownership of the property or transfers the property to someone else for personal gain. Often, the accused is an employee or officer of a company, but they may also be family members, professionals, board members, or investors managing the property.

The higher the value of the property, the more severe the penalties will be. In Illinois, embezzlement charges fall under the general theft statute. Under 720 ILCS 5/16-1, a person commits theft when he or she knowingly:

1) Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner; or

2) Obtains control over property of the owner by deception; and

  • Intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property; or
  • Knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the property in a manner so as to deprive the owner permanently; or
  • Uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing such use, concealment or abandonment will probably deprive the owner permanently of its benefit.

Embezzlement may be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the value or type of property.

  1. For property valued at less than $500, the theft is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year’s imprisonment and a fine of $2,500.
  2. For property valued at from $500 to $10,000, it is a Class 3 felony, punishable by two to five years of imprisonment.
  3. For property worth between $10,000 and $100,000, it is a Class 2 felony, punishable by three to seven years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $25,000.
  4. For property valued between $100,000 and $500,000, it is a Class 1 felony, punishable by four to 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
  5. For property valued between $500,000 and $1,000,000, it is a Class 1 non-probationable felony, punishable by four to 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
  6. If the property exceeded $1,000,000 in value, it is a Class X felony, punishable by six to 30 years’ imprisonment, and is non-probationable.

If the property was government property or the theft occurred in a school or place of worship, the conviction increases to the next higher class.

Common Illinois Embezzlement Cases

The attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., have extensive experience defending those accused of a wide variety of embezzlement charges and other white collar crimes, including financial crimes, fraud, and identity theft. We commonly handle the following types of cases:

  • Employee theft – including taking products, supplies, money, etc., from an employer
  • Bad checks – writing checks that bounce, issuing and cashing fraudulent checks
  • Converting accounts — stealing an employer’s accounts and business, making payments to “dummy” vendor accounts
  • Transferring of funds – unauthorized taking of funds belonging to an employer or client
  • Credit card fraud – using someone else’s credit card or number
  • False expense reports
  • Manipulation of company books to hide illegal activity

Defenses

While the penalties for conviction for embezzlement are severe, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to deprive the owner of the property permanently. Embezzlement charges generally involve complex accusations and intricate trails of evidence, and an experienced defense attorney can often find ways to have data or documents excluded on various grounds, such as unlawful search.

It may also be a defense that the accused made mistakes unknowingly, or intended to return the money or property, or believed he or she had a right to it. It may be possible to offer restitution or plead to a lesser offense.

Put Your Trust In Us — Contact Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. For A Free Consultation

If you are accused of embezzlement, you need to hire the best criminal defense attorney that you can find, ideally before making any statements that can be used against you.  The Illinois criminal defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances. We thoroughly investigate every case. We examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence, and work hand in hand with our clients to come up with an effective defense strategy. Our goal is to minimize the negative impact of the situation and to protect your freedoms, liberties and rights.

Delaying can only make your situation worse, so call or contact us online today to schedule your free initial consultation and begin preparing a response to any accusations of embezzlement.

Top