Fraud and embezzlement charges are something right out of the movies, at least that is what most people think. However, these charges have serious consequences in Pennsylvania. If you or a loved one are facing fraud or embezzlement charges, please seek legal assistance immediately.
At the SMA Law Group, we want to take some time to explain what these charges mean, their penalties, and discuss how we can help. If you need an Indiana County fraud charges attorney, call us today.
Today, we want to briefly review both fraud and embezzlement. While the two charges often go hand-in-hand, there are some differences.
Embezzlement is a type of financial fraud that is done by a person who has been entrusted with certain property or finances. You may hear the term fiduciary duty used when these charges come up:
- A person with fiduciary duty holds a legal or ethical responsibility to another person, company, or entity and must act in a way that will benefit them.
Embezzlement can be committed in many ways by people in various positions:
- Employees taking money from a cash register
- Charging more for an item and pocketing the difference
- Providing misleading expense accounts
- Using a client’s money for personal expenses
- Using someone else’s government benefits
- And more
Penalties for embezzlement will be filed as theft charges. The severity of these charges depends on the amount of money that was embezzled:
Less than $50
- Third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of incarceration and a fine up to $2,500.
$200 to $50
- Second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
$2,000 to $200
- First-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
More than $2,000
- Third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
Aside from embezzlement, there are various other fraud charges that a person can face in Pennsylvania, including the following:
- Tax fraud
- Mail fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Wire fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Identity theft
- Check fraud
As with embezzlement, the penalties depend on the amount of money that was taken. With most fraud case, please know that there is a chance you will face both federal and state charges if a crime crosses state lines. Most fraud cases do technically cross state lines because they deal with the transfer of money to banks, use the mail system, or the internet.
Moving On Now
If you are facing fraud or embezzlement charges in Indian County, your first phone call needs to be to a qualified attorney. At the SMA Law Group, we understand these charges. A guilty verdict can mean serious prison time, major fines, and a destroyed reputation that follows you for a lifetime.