To hold a position where you manage funds or property or are given the responsibility of managing another person’s money or property is a distinguished honor. Not only does it speak volumes about your competence when it comes to managing money but it also tells you that others believe you to be trustworthy and dependable.
It is no surprise then that when put in this position of trust you are expected to act honestly and do what is in the best interest of whoever you are working for. It can be a family member, a friend, a company or other unrelated third party. Regardless of who it is, you are entrusted to take the utmost care of the property money, or other items of value that they have put under your protection.
For these reasons and more, the act of embezzlement is not taken lightly. In New Jersey – and in many other states for that matter – there are laws put in place in regards to these egregious actions. But before taking a look at the penalties, it is important to define what embezzlement is.
The action of embezzlement can be generally defined as the theft of misappropriation of funds placed in one’s trust or belonging to one’s employer. In New Jersey though, embezzlement is defined in two ways:
- Theft by failure to make required disposition of property received
- The misapplication of entrusted property and property of government or financial institution
The first definition pertains to a common action of embezzlement. It could be something as simple as being a cashier who is entrusted to use a cash register to exchange the supermarket’s goods for customers’ money. If the cashier decides to pocket some of that money instead of returning it all to their employer at the end of the shift, it is considered embezzlement.
The second definition is considered to be an act of fraud. An example would be if you were entrusted by a government or financial institution to handle money or property, but instead, you chose to apply or dispose of it, all while knowing disposing of it is either illegal or would create a substantial risk of loss to the institution or agency.
The punishments for being convicted of “embezzlement” in New Jersey depends on what was taken. Punishments directly correlate with the value of what was stolen.
If you embezzled property or money valued under $200 then it is considered a disorderly persons offense. This carries a jail sentence of up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000 and/or restitution in the amount that was taken.
If between $200 and $500 was embezzled then the penalties include up to 18 months in prison, a fine up to $10,000 and restitution. If you chose to embezzle over $500 but less than $75,000 you can face between three and five years in jail, a fine of up to $15,000 and restitution.
The worst punishment comes at the hands of embezzling money or property worth $75,000 or more. You will be facing between five and 10 years in prison, a fine up to $150,000 and restitution in the amount embezzled to the victim.
Talk to a Skilled Embezzlement Defense Lawyer in Atlantic City
Needless to say, the penalties in New Jersey can be quite overwhelming and can tarnish your record for years to come. That is why if you or a loved one is facing charges related to embezzlement you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. The Law Offices of John W. Tumelty have years of experience dealing with these types of cases.
John W. Tumelty will put his 30 plus years of experience into action to defend you against the most serious of consequences. Contact us today to set up a free consultation at 609-385-4010.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.