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Possible Defenses to Charges of Embezzlement


Texas does not have a separate law criminalizing embezzlement. Instead, it simply categorizes it as theft, and the penalties vary according to the amount of money stolen. In ordinary speech, however, embezzlement refers to stealing money to which your job grants you access. It can involve transferring money from the company’s accounts to your own personal accounts or making personal purchases from a company account to which you have access. 

Some embezzlement cases involve defendants falsifying the company’s records in order to conceal the true nature of their transactions. If you are accused of stealing money from your employer and then falsifying the company’s accounting records to disguise the transactions, you could face charges for money laundering in addition to theft. Financial crime cases that involve large amounts of money often go through federal court. 

If you are being accused of embezzling money from your employer, contact a Texas white-collar crime lawyer at the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC.

Your Employer Gave You Permission to Make the Transactions

Most defendants in criminal cases plead guilty, including 94 percent of defendants in federal cases, but everyone has the right to a fair trial, and the state does not have the right to force you to confess to a crime that you did not commit. If you think that you have a valid defense to the allegations, you can and should fight the charges.

One of the most common defenses to accusations of embezzlement is that your employer authorized you to make the transaction. You might argue that you conducted the transaction exactly as your employer instructed. If the transaction you made was other than what your employer requested, you might argue that it was an honest mistake and show the efforts you made to correct the error once you noticed it.

Someone Coerced You Into Making Unauthorized Transactions

You cannot be convicted of a financial crime if someone coerced you into making the illegal transaction. If this defense is applicable to your situation, you may be able to argue that someone threatened you or blackmailed you into using your employer’s money in ways that your employer did not authorize.

The State Only Obtained Evidence Against You by Violating Your Rights

In any criminal case, the Jury cannot convict you based on evidence that the prosecution was only able to obtain by violating your rights, such as if the police searched your house without a warrant. In general, banks should investigate transactions that appear suspicious, and if there is evidence of fraud, theft, or money laundering, they should report them to law enforcement. No matter your charges, you should review every piece of evidence that the prosecution plans to use against you. Your lawyer may be able to exclude some pieces of evidence if there is a valid reason that they are inadmissible in court.

Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC About Embezzlement Cases

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of stealing money from your employer. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, in Dallas, Texas, to discuss your case.

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