If you face embezzlement charges in Colorado, the prosecutor could allege that you committed any number of illegal acts to accomplish it, depending on the precise circumstances of your case. Embezzlement is a white-collar crime of financial theft committed by someone who has access to or control over someone else's financial property and chooses to steal it or divert it to his or her own benefit.
In most circumstances, an embezzler is an employee of a company or institution that handles or deals with other people's money. Other times, however, the embezzler is a stockbroker, trustee of a trust, executor of an estate or someone else who misappropriates the funds entrusted to his or her care. The ways in which any given person accomplishes his or her embezzlement are nearly unlimited.
If you are a computer-savvy person working in your company's IT department, the allegations against you may be that you did one of the following:
- Electronically skimmed a little off the top of each of your company's sales and transferred it into an account of your own
- Inserted logic bomb code into your company's computer system that allowed it to automatically transfer money to your own account at specified times or time periods
- Inserted a trojan horse program into your company's computer system that let it simultaneously perform authorized and unauthorized functions, including transferring money to you
If part of your work duties is handling your company's negotiable documents, the allegations against you could be that you stole, altered, forged or somehow manipulated one or more of the following to illegally obtain funds for yourself:
- Refund authorizations
- Credit or debit memos
- Company checks
- Customer money orders
Wire transfer embezzlement
The allegations could be that you illegally intercepted, manipulated or altered your company's accounts so as to electronically transfer money into one or more accounts of your own. One way employees do this is by changing the payment instructions on documents coming into their company electronically or by fax.
The allegations against you could be that you misused credit card numbers so as to embezzle by means of identity theft. Whether you had access to your company's own credit card numbers or those of its customers, obtaining illegal cash advances on someone else's credit card(s) is a favorite methodology for criminally-inclined employees desirous of giving themselves extra cash.
Then there is the simplest type of embezzlement: taking cash. Those who handle significant numbers of cash transactions, such as cashiers, bartenders, and wait staff may be tempted to keep small amounts of cash rather than putting it in the cash register or a cash box.
It goes without saying that while any embezzlement scheme may work for a while, eventually someone discovers it. If you are convicted of embezzlement in Colorado, you could face up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Those who have been charged with embezzlement need a strong and effective criminal defense attorney on their side.