Many people in Indiana may have heard of “Ponzi schemes” and other types of embezzlement, but they may not have a clear idea of what exactly constitutes embezzlement. When a person has legal responsibility over business assets, bank assets, trust assets or other assets belonging to someone else, but then uses those assets illicitly for their own personal gain, this constitutes embezzlement.
In general, the person committing embezzlement has legal access to another’s assets, so that the person can manage them in accordance to the owner’s best interests, but then secretly uses the assets for their own personal benefit instead. Some instances of embezzlement include the theft of one large sum of money, while other instances of embezzlement include the taking of smaller amounts of money over an extended period of time.
There are four factors that must be met for a person to be charged with embezzlement. First, the accused must have a fiduciary relationship with the alleged victim. Second, the accused must have acquired the assets at issue through this fiduciary relationship. Third, the accused must have either taken ownership of the assets or passed the assets on to a third party. Finally, the accused must have committed these acts with intent.
Embezzlement is a serious white-collar crime. If convicted, a person could face significant penalties, including fines and incarceration. However, embezzlement must be an intentional act. If a person did not intend to embezzle funds, they cannot be charged with this crime. Those who are charged with embezzlement will want to explore their defense options so they can develop a strong strategy of defense.