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Common white-collar crimes and associated penalties - III

Over the last couple of weeks, the posts on this blog discussed some common white-collar crimes and the penalties associated with those. Those two posts provided an overview of insurance fraud, insider trading, tax evasion and money laundering and the penalties associated with these four white collar crimes.

This third and final blog post in the series on white collar crimes will discuss embezzlement and its associated penalties. According to current laws, individual embezzlement can be divided into four broad categories, depending on the type of money or property that was stolen. As a result, the penalties associated with each type of embezzlement are also different, based on the same set of factors.

The first category pertains to stealing public money, property or records valued in excess of $1,000. The next category is that of counterfeiting tools and material. The third category pertains to embezzlement in excess of $100 in connection with a health care benefit plan. In all of these three cases, the penalties include a prison sentence that can go up to 10 years; a fine of up to $250,000; or both.

Embezzlement by an employee of a bank or a lending, credit or insurance institution forms the fourth category. If the amount stolen is less than $1,000, the penalties include a fine of up to $100,000 or a prison sentence of up to one year. However, if the amount stolen is more than $1,000, the penalties include a fine of up to $1 million; a prison sentence of up to 30 years; or both.

Finally, the law is slightly different if the offender is an organization. In the event of a misdemeanor conviction, the fines can go up to $200,000. In the event of a felony conviction, the fine will be the highest of the following three amounts: the amount specified in the law setting forth the embezzlement offense; twice the amount of money gained or lost via embezzlement; or $500,000.

After reading the three posts, one might agree that being accused of a white-collar crime is a very serious matter indeed. Therefore, it is important for an accused to seek apt legal representation at the earliest possible opportunity. It probably goes without saying that doing so not only eliminates the possibility of the one's rights being violated but also provides an opportunity to find a reasonable legal solution.

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