Embezzlement is a white collar crime involving the improper use of property or funds that were entrusted into your care by another party. If you have been put in charge of managing or caring for certain resources, whether by an individual or by a company, violation of the trust that comes with this position can lead to charges for embezzlement in state court. The central characteristics of any embezzlement case are having legal access to money or property, but not having legal ownership of the resource in question, and acting as if you did. Common types of embezzlement that are frequently seen in Illinois include board members abusing their privileges for their own gain, individuals using company property inappropriately, and employees diverting funds into accounts for personal use.
Potential Punishment for Embezzlement Under State Law
Under Illinois law relating to theft, the punishment for embezzlement varies depending on the value or type of property stolen, as well as the identity of the victim. For the following amounts of money or property embezzled, the punishments are:
- $500 or less: Fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both. Previous theft-related convictions can cause the penalty to increase to a fine of up to $25,000, one to three years in prison, or both.
- $500 to $10,000: Fine of up to $25,000, two to five years in prison, or both.
- $10,000 to $100,000: Fine of up to $25,000, three to seven years in prison, or both.
- $100,000 to $500,000: Fine of up to $25,000, between six and 30 years in jail, or both.
- $500,000 to $1,000,000: Fine of up to $25,000, four to 15 years in prison without the possibility of parole or probation, or both.
- Over $1,000,000: Fine of up to $25,000, six to 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole or probation, or both.
The law also provides that penalties can be increased if the alleged embezzlement harmed seniors over the age of 60, schools, places of worship, or government property. (720 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. § 5/16-1(b).)
In addition to these exorbitant monetary penalties and severe restrictions on your liberty, a conviction for embezzlement charges can also have devastating effects on future business and employment prospects. Hiring personnel, in viewing your criminal record, would not react well to information relating to crimes of dishonesty. In addition, charges or convictions for white collar crimes can jeopardize your professional license.
Contact a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you suspect that you are being investigated for a white collar crime, or if you have been accused of embezzlement, you need a tenacious Chicago-area defense attorney to advocate for you and your reputation. Goldman & Associates will review your case, lay out your options, and work tirelessly to avoid or reduce charges being filed. Investigations for embezzlement can result in thousands of pages of evidence, and on top of this, mounting a defense in court can be frustrating, complicated, and downright tedious. You deserve an unparalleled attorney to pursue the best possible outcome for you. Contact our office today for a free consultation about your embezzlement or white collar case.