Dallas Embezzlement Lawyers
30 Years of In-Depth Experience
Embezzlement is a type of theft that occurs when an employee takes property their employer entrusted to them. The employee must take the property for their own gain and intend to permanently deprive the employer of the property.
Embezzlement can occur in a variety of forms. Some of the more common methods include issuing fake refunds to customers; writing checks from the employer’s funds; submitting checks to fake vendor invoices; adding family members to payroll; and lapping, which involves taking money from customer payments.
If you are facing employee theft charges, contact our office now to speak with a Dallas embezzlement lawyer before it’s too late.
To get started, call us at (214) 238-9392.
Texas Embezzlement Law
In Texas, embezzlement is prosecuted under the crime of theft. A person is guilty if they unlawfully take property with intent to deprive the owner.
- Taking things without consent
- Receiving stolen property
- Taking stolen property from police custody
What Are the Penalties for Embezzlement in Texas?
Texas law categorizes embezzlement into different classes based on the value of the property embezzled.
Each class carries its own set of penalties:
- Class C Misdemeanor: For property valued under $50, the potential penalty is a fine of up to $500.
- Class B Misdemeanor: If the property value ranges between $50 and $500, the offender may face up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
- Class A Misdemeanor: For property valued between $500 and $1,500, the penalty can be up to a year in jail, a fine up to $4,000, or both.
- State Jail Felony: Property valued between $1,500 and $20,000 may result in a state jail felony, with penalties of 180 days to 2 years in state jail and a fine up to $10,000.
- Third-Degree Felony: Embezzling property valued between $20,000 and $100,000 is a third-degree felony, with a possible prison term of 2 to 10 years and a fine up to $10,000.
- Second-Degree Felony: If the property value is between $100,000 and $200,000, the crime is classified as a second-degree felony, with a potential prison term of 2 to 20 years and a fine up to $10,000.
- First-Degree Felony: For property valued over $200,000, the offender may be charged with a first-degree felony, which carries a penalty of 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Remember, these are potential penalties, and actual outcomes can vary based on each case’s specifics. Consulting with a legal professional at the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC can help provide a clearer understanding of the possible outcomes and strategies for defense.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Embezzlement In Texas?
Because embezzlement is considered theft, the statute of limitations for misdemeanors is two years. However, depending on the circumstances, your case may be subject to a more extended period.
For example, if your case falls under felony robbery or theft, the statute of limitations could become as high as five years. If the embezzlement involves fiduciaries or officials, the statute of limitations can extend to 10 years.
Defenses to Embezzlement Charges
When facing embezzlement charges, it is crucial to have an experienced legal advocate who can craft a robust defense strategy.
Some potential defenses to embezzlement charges may include:
- Lack of Intent: Embezzlement requires intent to deprive the owner of their property. If it can be proven that the act was due to a mistake or misunderstanding rather than a deliberate attempt to steal, this defense could be effective.
- Insufficient Evidence: The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that embezzlement occurred. If they fail to provide sufficient evidence linking you to the alleged crime, the charges may not stand.
- Entrapment: This defense applies if someone was induced or persuaded to commit a crime they would not ordinarily commit.
- Duress: If it can be proven that the act of embezzlement took place under threat or force, the charges may be dropped or reduced.
Every case is unique and requires a personalized defense strategy. Once we know more about your case, we can assemble a defense. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.
Examples of Employment & Embezzlement Cases
Embezzlement occurs throughout the country, and Texas is no different. Every year, there are numerous criminal cases involving embezzlement, some of which involve millions of dollars of property allegedly taken.
Below is a list of a few of the more publicized embezzlement cases over the past few years:
- A San Antonio man was sentenced to 63 months in prison for embezzling nearly $2 million from his former employer by writing checks to himself.
- A former CCO was arrested for embezzling nearly $500,000 from a former employer by issuing checks for invoices the vendors did not submit.
- A former campaign coordinator pleaded guilty to embezzling $1.8 million in campaign funds from Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst.
- A former energy company executive allegedly embezzled $1.3 million by submitting “false invoices for fake projects in order to receive company funds for their own personal expenses to include personal travel, hotels, country club memberships, personal car restoration, fishing equipment, and a hunting trip.”
Contact Our Dallas Embezzlement Attorney
If you have been charged with embezzling funds from an employer, contact an experienced embezzlement defense lawyer in Dallas at the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC today.
Patrick J. McLain has experience defending individuals in a wide variety of criminal cases, including embezzlement and other white collar crimes.
Contact us online or call (214) 238-9392 to schedule a consultation today. We are available at (214) 238-9392 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
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