Embezzlement charge in Wake County North Carolina § 14-90
The charge of Embezzlement § 14-90 is one of the more common financial crimes charged in Wake County, North Carolina. The charge of Embezzlement is usually an accusation by an employer that an employee fraudulently used or took money / cash or company property that the employee was entrusted with and used it in a manner that they were not allowed.
Embezzlement is a very serious crime in North Carolina. In most cases an Embezzlement charge in North Carolina will be punished as a Class H Felony. Under current felony sentencing structure in North Carolina a class H felony has a maximum punishment of 25 months active per charge. The felony sentencing in North Carolina is guided by the defendant’s prior record level and can vary greatly depending on which felony sentencing level the defendant falls under. In cases where the amount of funds (or value of property) is more than $100,000 the Felony Class goes up to a level C Felony. A Class C felony in North Carolina has a maximum punishment of 182 months active.
It is important to have a real conversation with your criminal defense lawyer about the best and worst possible outcome of each and every charge against you. If you have been charged with embezzlement or any financial crime you should contact a lawyer who deals with that type of law. There are many rights and options that need to be explained to you before you walk into a courtroom to face these charges. In some circumstances it may even be possible for your criminal defense lawyer to resolve the matter without you having to ever go to court. It is important to remember that there are many different situations or financial transactions (some accidental and some knowingly) that can lead charges of Embezzlement. No case is ever the same and no particular outcome can be guaranteed.
What is embezzlement?
Embezzlement is when a person fraudulently uses the property or money of another for a purpose other than that for which the person received it and while that person was entrusted with the safe keeping of that property or money.
How is embezzlement different than larceny? Embezzlement Vs. Larceny
Larceny is the taking of another person’s property or money with the intent to permanently deprive them of its use. A classic example is when a teenager goes into a store like Wal-Mart and takes a pair of jeans without paying for them. Embezzlement is similar to larceny, but it must involve someone taking (or giving away, misappropriating or misusing) property or money they were entrusted with. A classic example would be if an employee Wal-Mart such as a cashier took money out of her cash register for her own use. In this case the theft came from someone who was entrusted with the safe keeping of that property.
If I have been charged with Embezzlement can I just return the money and have the charges dropped?
The short answer is NO, the charges will not be dropped if you simply payback the money. But, there are countless reasons and variation of situations that can change this answer. No case is ever the exact same and needs to be treated and defended as such. In general the charges brought against you were brought by the State of North Carolina. If you have been charged, your case is considered (and referred to as) The State of North Carolina VS. Defendant… Not Wal-Mart VS. Defendant. So, while the employer victim may have some say in the outcome of the case, it is ultimately up to the Wake County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute or not prosecute the case.
What does the North Carolina General Statute say?
§ 14 90. Embezzlement of property received by virtue of office or employment.
(a) This section shall apply to any person:
(1) Exercising a public trust.
(2) Holding a public office.
(3) Who is a guardian, administrator, executor, trustee, or any receiver, or any other fiduciary, including, but not limited to, a settlement agent, as defined in G.S. 45A 3.
(4) Who is an officer or agent of a corporation, or any agent, consignee, clerk, bailee or servant, except persons under the age of 16 years, of any person.
(b) Any person who shall:
(1) Embezzle or fraudulently or knowingly and willfully misapply or convert to his own use, or
(2) Take, make away with or secrete, with intent to embezzle or fraudulently or knowingly and willfully misapply or convert to his own use,
any money, goods or other chattels, bank note, check or order for the payment of money issued by or drawn on any bank or other corporation, or any treasury warrant, treasury note, bond or obligation for the payment of money issued by the United States or by any state, or any other valuable security whatsoever that (i) belongs to any other person or corporation, unincorporated association or organization or (ii) are closing funds as defined in G.S. 45A 3, which shall have come into his possession or under his care, shall be guilty of a felony.
(c) If the value of the property described in subsection (b) of this section is one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or more, the person is guilty of a Class C felony. If the value of the property is less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), the person is guilty of a Class H felony.