If you or one of your family members has been arrested for embezzlement in Philadelphia, or is under investigation for embezzlement or related financial crimes (“white collar crimes”), you are at risk of prison time, costly fines, a criminal record, and permanent damage to your career and reputation. It is essential to retain the services of an experienced embezzlement attorney who has a track record of success defending clients charged with felony white collar crimes in Pennsylvania and federal courts.
At the Law Office of Lloyd Long, we bring more than a decade of experience to each case we handle. We understand the complex laws and court procedures surrounding white collar crimes, and can fight strategically to reduce your penalties, challenge the evidence against you, uphold your constitutional rights, guide you through the criminal justice system, and potentially obtain a dismissal of your case.
Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney when the charges are this complex – or when the stakes are this high. Instead, turn to The Law Office of Lloyd Long for sophisticated, aggressive, strategy-driven representation. For a free consultation with an experienced Philadelphia embezzlement and theft lawyer, call us today at (215) 302-0171.
What is Embezzlement in PA?
Embezzlement is a specific form of property theft that involves a person abusing their position of trust or authority in order to steal assets or money for personal gain. Some common examples of situations that can lead to embezzlement charges include:
- An accountant, pension fund manager, or investment manager who is accused of stealing funds from their clients.
- An employer who is accused of illegally redirecting funds from employee pension funds or exploiting company assets.
- A trustee who is accused of taking money or property from a trust.
In each of these scenarios, the accused is (1) trusted to manage another party’s finances, and (2) abuses that trust to take the money or assets for themselves. It is not embezzlement to hold a stranger up at gunpoint demanding money, or to steal valuable electronics after breaking into a random home, because these crimes – though very serious – do not involve the misappropriation of a client’s, customer’s, employee’s, or investor’s funds.
In some situations, embezzlement schemes require sophisticated financial knowledge, cross state lines, and involve tremendous quantities of money. In such cases, it is not uncommon for federal agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to become involved in a criminal investigation. If the defendant is tried in federal court, where procedures and penalties can differ sharply from those used in state courts, the defendant should be represented by an attorney who has prior experience defending clients charged at the federal level. Criminal attorney Lloyd Long has handled numerous cases in both state and federal courts, and can tailor an aggressive, targeted legal strategy to the specifics of your case.
PA Embezzlement Penalties: Jail and Fines
Pennsylvania embezzlement penalties are similar to penalties for other forms of theft or larceny in Pennsylvania. These penalties typically include fines and jail time or prison time, with potential for probation and other consequences.
Specific sentencing varies from case to case, depending on the value of the property that was embezzled, and the circumstances it was embezzled under. The greater the value of the embezzled property, the higher the maximum fine, and the longer the maximum sentence. Penalties can also be increased if there are any “aggravating factors,” such as:
- Committing the crime as a hate crime, meaning the victim was selected due to his or her race, religion, national origin, or similar factors.
- Committing the crime in front of or against a minor.
- Having a history of prior offenses.
Depending on these and other factors, the criminal penalties for embezzlement in Pennsylvania can range anywhere from less than a year of jail time, to being imprisoned for the better part of a decade. Examples of fines and sentences for embezzlement are outlined below, organized by the value of the property involved in the offense.
- Less than $50
- Maximum jail sentence of 1 year
- Fine of up to $2,500
- More than $50, but not over $200
- Maximum prison sentence of 2 years
- Fine of up to $5,000
- More than $200, but not over $2,000
- Maximum prison sentence of 5 years
- Fine of up to $10,000
- More than $2,000
- Maximum prison sentence of 7 years
- Fine of up to $15,000
Some circumstances will subject the defendant to special penalties, regardless of the embezzled property’s monetary value. For example, if the property was acquired during a man-made, war-caused, or natural disaster, penalties include a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and/or a fine of up to $25,000. To provide another example, if a person who works as a school treasurer is convicted of embezzling school money or property, he or she will face a sentence between 30 days and five years, and/or a fine between $25 and $1,000.
Philadelphia Embezzlement Defense Lawyer Handling White Collar Crimes
If you are accused of embezzlement, not only are you facing lengthy jail or prison sentences and expensive fines – in addition, having this type of mark on your criminal record can negatively affect your life forever. To reduce the damage and protect yourself to the greatest extent possible, you need to make sure that you are represented by a knowledgeable defense attorney who will be dedicated to your case.
Philadelphia criminal lawyer Lloyd Long handles embezzlement, broker embezzlement, and related theft charges throughout the Philadelphia area, including misdemeanor cases, felony cases, federal cases, and cases involving minors and juveniles. Contact us today for a free consultation.