Embezzlement in general is the theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one’s trust or belonging to one’s employer.
Embezzlement can be charged in a number of ways but is most commonly charged as Wire Fraud.
In order to be found guilty of Wire Fraud, the government must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
1) That the defendant voluntarily and intentionally devised or participated in a scheme to defraud another out of money;
(2) That the defendant did so with the intent to defraud;
(3) That it was reasonably foreseeable that interstate wire communications would be used; and
(4) That interstate wire communications were in fact used.
Wire communications can simply be the internet.
The maximum sentence that the court can impose for each violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343 [wire fraud]is 20 years imprisonment, a three year period of supervised release, a find of $250,000.00 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greater, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.
This means that if someone is charged with multiple counts of fraud for engaging in several transactions where money was deposited on different dates for different amounts, each count can carry a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.
The Federal Sentencing Guidelines, however, are the first step in determining the actual sentence that the court may impose if convicted. The calculation of the sentence depends, in large part, on the amount of money taken from or lost by the employer.
There are many mitigating factors that the court can consider at sentencing. However, there are also aggravating factors that come into play.
Pre-indictment negotiations often result in a much more lenient sentence as the government may be willing to forego additional charges such as money laundering.
This is why it is essential that if you are contacted by a government agency because you are under investigation or about to be charged with embezzlement, it is critical that you contact the Law Office of Diane C. Bass immediately.