Embezzlement is the act of withholding assets for the purpose of conversion (theft) of such assets, by one or more persons to whom the assets were entrusted, either to be held or to be used for specific purposes.

Embezzlement is a type of financial fraud. Most state laws provide for the perpetrator to be charged with felony theft and in certain circumstances it can also be a federal crime. Conviction and penalties normally involve jail time and fines. An example of embezzlement is when an employee in a trusted position, such as a book-kepper or Chief Financial Officer (CFO) steals from a business.

Examples of embezzlement include the bank teller who pockets deposits, the bookkeeper who takes customer refunds for them-self, the attorney who uses the funds in an escrow account for them-self, and the payroll clerk who doesn’t deposit the correct amount of employment tax, keeping the rest.

Crane Intelligence, Inc. has worked hundreds of embezzlement cases, some quite news-worthy and others that did, or had the potential to, cause great harm to businesses. Prevention is paramount and some of the best methods to prevent embezzlement are the least expensive to implement.

Photo by Taylor Davidson