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Trusted Defense For Complex Criminal Cases Embezzlement

Embezzlement Lawyer in Orange County, CA

Protecting Your Rights & Freedoms in Southern California & Nationwide

Embezzlement is arguably the most common white collar crime in America. A business or individual who entrusts sensitive financial information or funds to another party expects those assets to be managed with care.  

However, temptation may prevail; embezzlement may occur to exploit that confidential or sensitive information for personal gain. Doing so can result in a criminal charge for the fraudulent appropriation of personal property. 

In federal cases, the government takes white collar crimes seriously and may opt to pursue the maximum penalty allowed under the federal penal code section.

Before entering a guilty plea, it is critical to remember that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. If you have been accused of embezzlement or any associated crimes, such as grand theft, petty theft, and stolen property, seeking the legal advice of a lawyer experienced in white collar crime defense can increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

Law Office of Diane C. Bass is well-respected across Southern California as a defense firm with the knowledge and capability to represent clients in fraud and embezzlement cases. With our attorney’s decades of state and federal criminal defense experience, our firm is the go-to choice for Californians and those facing federal charges nationwide.

Reserve your one-hour confidential consultation with our Orange County embezzlement attorney by contacting us online or at (949) 990-4195

How Is Embezzlement Defined?

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 several ways but is most commonly charged as wire fraud.

For a person to be found guilty of wire fraud, the government must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That the defendant voluntarily and intentionally devised or participated in a scheme to defraud another out of money;
  • That the defendant did so with the intent to defraud;
  • That it was reasonably foreseeable that interstate wire communications would be used; and
  • That interstate wire communications were used.

“Wire communications” can be the internet.

Who Investigates Embezzlement?

Investigations into alleged embezzlement are usually conducted by several entities, depending on the scale and nature of the offense. Local police departments can investigate more minor cases. 

However, larger sums or offenses that involve crossing state lines may attract the attention of federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Furthermore, if the embezzlement involves a public official or the misuse of public funds, a state's attorney general's office might also investigate the case.

What Makes Embezzlement a Federal Crime?

While embezzlement can be prosecuted under California state law, certain conditions elevate the crime to a federal offense. 

This elevation usually occurs when:

  • The embezzled funds involve a federal agency or program.
  • The act affects interstate commerce.
  • The embezzlement involves a financial institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Federal charges are typically more severe than state charges, and they can result in harsher penalties, including longer prison sentences and larger fines. The complexity of federal embezzlement charges demands an experienced defense firm that can navigate the intricacies of financial transactions and federal court proceedings.

What Other Crimes Could Lead to Enhanced Sentencing in Embezzlement Cases?

As with most crimes, how they were committed can result in enhanced sentencing for those accused. Many financial crimes are charged in connection with other violations of criminal law. 

The other crimes that may be interconnected to embezzlement include:

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What Are the Penalties for Wire Fraud & Embezzlement?

The maximum sentence that the federal court can impose for each violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343 [wire fraud] is 20 years imprisonment, three years of supervised release, a fine 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 you are 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 are the first step in determining the actual sentence that the court may impose upon a conviction. The calculation of a sentence depends, in large part, on the amount of money taken from or lost by the alleged victim(s).

The court can consider many mitigating factors at sentencing. However, aggravating factors can also 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.

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Your Case?

The earlier you hire our lawyer to represent you, the more time we will have to build a defense to better serve your interests in and out of court. 

Embezzlement is often committed by a business, its CEO, or one of its employees. CEOs, CFOs, business managers, politicians, church leaders, real estate brokers, investment brokers, and accountants of any rank or industry are most often accused.

Sometimes, employers may believe employees or staff are guilty of embezzlement and threaten them with accusations. In other cases, the allegations of embezzlement come from federal government agencies.

Though being accused of such offenses can harm your reputation and legacy, an allegation or criminal charge does not equal a conviction or guilty plea. An investigation must be conducted to determine the truth of the situation. In a court of law, the accused is considered innocent until proven guilty.

The inner workings of business and industry are complex, and errors can be made. Your lawyer only needs to establish reasonable doubt. This can include showing the potential falsity of accusations or mistaken identity for the true culprit of the crime.

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Trusted By Clients

Reviews & Testimonials
    "She will put your anxiety at ease and get you through the tangled system."
    Diane is the perfect mix of gentle understanding and fierce action you’ll need if you find yourself dealing with the OC court system.
    - Angie T.
    "Whatever you’re going through, I’m confident Diane will achieve the best outcome you could hope for."
    My first impression was that she’s very experienced, no-nonsense, knows the law, how the system works, and was very busy as a result. I quickly realized that she exceeded even those first impressions but also cared very much about my story, needs, an
    - Daniel B.
    "From the start of my case, she has been there for me."
    First of all, I would like to thank Diane for everything she has done for me. From the start of my case, she has been there for me. Only very few people were granted bond and she pulled it off in my case. I know for a fact not too many lawyers could have done that. I am on probation for three years.. while “the others” will not have the chance to raise their children and live their lives. I was headed to prison….I am free.. and for that, I am forever grateful.
    - John H.
    "Diane Bass is a phenomenal attorney."
    After meeting with Diane I felt immediate comfort, and I was sold on the fact that I could trust this amazing person with my life. Diane Bass was there for me every step of the way like no other attorney had ever been.
    - Ryan O.
    "She is not afraid to battle for you. With her, you will never be alone."
    Diane is a brilliant attorney. She listens carefully to your problems and clearly advises you with honesty. She was with me from the first day of my case and I have never been disappointed in any way.
    - Maria K.
    "I highly recommend Diane if you are dealing with legal troubles of your own."
    Since this being my first Federal offense, I had no idea what to expect. I was extremely anxious. After talking to Diane, I felt like she was the attorney I needed to help me get through these challenging times. Her professionalism and knowledge of the law
    - Adam P.
    "Diane’s work is second to none."

    Diane’s work is second to none. I was charged with felony DV, and after working with one firm in Irvine that did absolutely nothing, I did some hard research and found Diane. She worked quickly and diligently and got the case dismissed. I absolutely don’t foresee me needing a criminal lawyer down the road, but if I do, it’ll be Diane hands down!

    - Shadic A.
    "Diane is the most professional, thorough attorney I have ever met."
    Her expertise, connections, analysis, and comprehensive review of my situation were more than I could ever ask. I am extremely grateful and couldn't be happier with my choice!
    - Jeff R.

Why Choose Law Office of Diane C. Bass?

  • Top-Rated & Award-Winning Legal Representation
    We consistently deliver results that exceed expectations, earning the trust of clients and accolades from the legal community.
  • 25+ Years of Criminal Defense Legal Experience
    With over 25 years of criminal defense legal experience, we bring a wealth of seasoned insight and a proven track record of success to every case we handle.
  • Extensive Knowledge & Experience With Federal Cases
    With extensive knowledge and experience in federal cases, we offer comprehensive legal strategies tailored to the complexities of each situation.
  • An Outstanding Reputation Amongst Clients & Peers
    Our reputation among clients and peers alike reflects our unwavering dedication to achieving the best possible outcomes for those we represent.
  • Featured in the Media
    Attorney Bass is frequently featured in media outlets such as The Washington Post, LA Times, ESPN, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and more.
  • Track Record of Success
    With a track record of handling some of the most significant cases in the Central District of California, our firm brings unmatched experience to every client's defense.
  • Selected by Super Lawyers Since 2022
  • Avvo 10.0 Rating
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Top 100 Lawyers

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