Embezzlement is a white-collar crime that involves taking money or property belonging to someone else for personal gain. It occurs when a person has legal access to, but not legal ownership of, the property stolen.
Embezzlement involves theft of money or property by a person entrusted with that property. Property stolen by embezzlement can be either tangible or intangible property. This can include an employee taking cash from the company’s cash registers or an accountant transferring funds from a company account to their own. It may also involve government property like grants or benefits.
The penalties for embezzlement in Illinois ranges from a misdemeanor to a class X felony. The severity of the charges depends on the value of the property stolen. If convicted you can face money penalties and prison time. You may be also be required to forfeit the assets and pay restitution to the victim.
Are you facing embezzlement charges in Illinois? A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you fight the charges and protect your rights. Contact Hirsch Law Group today for a free consultation. Our compassionate and devoted lawyers are here to help.
Embezzlement is a distinctive form of property theft. Under Illinois law, embezzlement is included under the theft statutes outlined in 720 ILCS 5/16-1. The statute provides a definition of and the penalties for embezzling.
Embezzlement occurs when an individual knowingly:
Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over another’s property.
Obtains control over the property by deception.
Intends to permanently deny the owner of the property’s use or benefit.
Knowingly uses, hides or abandons the property in a way likely to permanently deprive the owner of its benefit.
Typically, embezzlement cases involve a trusted relationship between the embezzler and the victim. Frequently, the accused is an employee or officer within a company.
The punishment for embezzlement varies depending on the value of the stolen property as provided under 720 ILCS 5/16-1(b):
Class A misdemeanor: Theft of property valued at less than $500 constitutes a Class A misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of $2,500.
Class 4 felony: Theft of property valued less than $500 constitutes a Class 4 felony if the theft was committed in a school or place of worship; if the theft was of government property; or if the person has a previous conviction for theft, robbery or burglary. It is punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Class 3 felony: Theft of property valued greater than $500 but not exceeding $10,000 is considered a Class 3 felony. It is punishable by two to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Class 2 felony: Theft of property valued greater than $10,000 but not exceeding $100,000 is considered a Class 2 felony. It is punishable by three to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Class 1 felony: Theft of property valued greater than $100,000 but not exceeding $500,000 is considered a Class 1 felony. It is punishable by four to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Class 1 non-probationable felony: Theft of property valued greater than $500,000 but not exceeding $1,000,000 is considered a Class 1 non-probationable felony. It is punishable by four to 15 years in prison without probation and a fine of up to $25,000.
Class X felony: Theft of property exceeding $1,000,000 in value is considered a Class X felony. It could result in sentences of six to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Embezzlement cases involving government property, a place of worship or school may result in an upgrade to the next felony class meaning more severe penalties for these types of thefts.
An embezzlement conviction can have significant consequences. The criminal defense attorneys at Hirsch Law Group are devoted to helping our clients in the face of severe penalties and life-changing criminal records.
The statute of limitations dictates the maximum amount of time after a crime has occurred that charges can be brought. Statute of limitations exist to ensure that the evidence and witnesses are relevant and reliable at the time the charges are brought.
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for embezzlement cases is generally three years from the date the theft allegedly occurred. Depending on the nature of the crime and the circumstances this can be extended to seven years.
The statute of limitations can also be tolled or paused in some situations. Such as when the defendant is out of the state or unable to stand trial. The statute of limitations resumes when the defendant returns to the state or becomes available for trial.
The statute of limitations rules in Illinois are an important aspect of an embezzlement case. Understanding when and what criminal charges can be brought requires careful analysis and interpretation by a qualified embezzlement attorney in Chicago.
Choosing the right criminal defense attorney for your Illinois embezzlement case is crucial for your defense. Your attorney will defend your interests and your rights by developing a comprehensive defense strategy based on the facts and circumstances of your case.
At Hirsch Law Group, we thoroughly investigate the State’s case. We review the evidence, witnesses and other details to find flaws or favorable factors for your defense. Our attorneys can help you file pre-trial motions to challenge the validity of evidence, procedural errors or other issues that could lead to dismissal.
We also will negotiate with the prosecutor to seek a favorable resolution, such as reduced charges, alternative sentences or a plea deal. In the event a deal is not reached, we will represent your interests at trial and use our skills and knowledge to present your defense.
An embezzlement conviction can cost you money and years in prison. These types of cases are complex, but a skilled criminal defense lawyer can help. At Hirsch Law Group, our attorneys will craft a strong defense and trial strategy, thoroughly investigating the evidence and negotiating with prosecutors for favorable outcomes.
If you are facing embezzlement charges in Illinois, it is important to choose a criminal defense attorney with experience handling white-collar crimes. If you have been accused of a financial crime, our experienced money laundering lawyer in Chicago can help.
Our team is here to protect your rights, reputation and freedom. Contact us today for a free consultation.