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Employee Theft & Embezzlement

Employee theft allegations:

I regularly represent people that have been charged with theft from their employer. Many employees find themselves both terminated from their job and at the same times charged with theft from the employer that fired them. This creates a difficult financial situation and a barrier to re-employment. I am familiar with the challenges that this type of a case brings. Prosecutors refer to the defendants in these cases as being in a "position of trust."  Prosecutors often pursue these cases with more vigor that other shoplifting cases because the person alleged to have committed the crime was in a "position of trust" as an employee of the store or retailer.  These cases take an experienced attorney to protect your reputation and employability. 


Embezzlement is theft and may be prosecuted at both a local and federal level. However, embezzlement is different than theft in one major way.  In order to be charged with embezzlement. In order to be charged with embezzlement you must have been authorized to have physical control over the stolen property. This is why employees and people in a "position of trust" are often charged with more serious crimes, rather than just theft. When funds are embezzled or stolen from a bank or institution that is regulated by the federal government then it is a federal crime.

Employee theft Defenses:

There are many defenses to allegations of employee theft or embezzlement:

1. Honest Mistake

If you have been accused of theft or embezzlement by an employer it is possible that there may be simple accounting errors to blame. Many times I am able to resolve accounting errors at a low level and without prosecutors involvement if there are honest accounting mistakes to blame.  This is often the case when there is miscommunication between an employee and their employer.

2. Another actor is to blame "framed"

In some cases, another employee is to blame for the theft and that employee makes attempts to blame or "frame" others. It is often times management blaming or "framing" low level employee for their actions or misdeeds.

3. Management Mismanagement

 Another common occurrence is business management blaming an employee for theft or embezzlement when management is to blame for the misuse of funds. Management is often complicit it the blaming of a employee when it is actually management fraud, mismanagement or incompetence that is to blame for a bad financial situation in the business.


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John T Law
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