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Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly withholding assets for the purpose of conversion (theft), of such assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted, to be held and/or used for other purposes. Embezzlement is a kind of financial fraud like financial advisors stealing funds from investors or a spouse embezzle funds from the partner. Although embezzlement used to be a crime in and of itself, it now falls under the umbrella of Penal Code 484 theft.

Embezzlement is simply one way to commit a theft. In its very definition, theft refers to embezzlement. “Every person…who shall fraudulently appropriate property that has been entrusted to him/her…is guilty of theft.” The value of the property allegedly embezzled will determine whether you are penalized under Penal Code 487 grand theft or Penal Code 488 petty theft. The prosecutor will charge you with embezzlement as grand theft if the value of the embezzled property is worth more than $950, or if you embezzle a firearm (grand theft firearm), or a car (grand theft auto), regardless of their values. He/she will charge you with embezzlement as petty theft if the value of the allegedly embezzled property is worth $950 or less.

Probable Penalties & Consequences

Embezzlement usually results in a fine, jail or prison time, or both. Each state has its own penalties and will differ in their severity. If the value of the embezzled property is worth more than $950 Penal code 487, Grand Theft, applies and 488, Petty Theft, if less than $950. If you are convicted of grand theft or embezzlement as a misdemeanor, you face up to one year in a county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

If convicted as a felony, you face 16 months, or 2 or three 3 yrs. in the California State Prison, and a $10,000 max fine. If you are convicted of petty theft embezzlement, you face up to 6 months in a county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.. If the property you embezzled was valued at $50 or less…and you have no other theft-related convictions, Mark may be able to reduce your charge to an infraction, subjecting you to a maximum $250 fine. See California Penal Codes 484 to 502.9 for statute details.

If Arrested or Jailed

Many of Mark Waecker’s clients have sought his legal guidance immediately following an arrest, while still incarcerated. Those clients use the clock to their advantage, as time is still on their side. Acting quickly and efficiently, Mark Waecker will use assertive strategies to have cases dismissed or substantially reduce potential consequences.

If Contacted by the Police

First and foremost, absolutely exercise your right to remain silent at all times, under all circumstances. Many cases are prosecuted when clients, contacted by a law enforcement agent, mistakenly believe that they can talk their way out of the situation. Often, these are undercover agents acting like ordinary people.

Challenging the skill and training of a law enforcement officer by attempting to discuss your case with them is never a good idea. Instead, immediately assert your right to remain silent and call Mark Waecker directly, or have someone else make the call for you.

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