Embezzlement in Ohio is a serious criminal charge that typically carries harsh, life-altering penalties. It is considered a white collar crime, in that there is no violence involved and usually occurs in a workplace environment. Embezzlement can occur anywhere from a gas station clerk putting cash into his or her pocket to a high-level business executive transferring funds electronically into their account. Embezzlement is defined according to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 2945.64) as the intentional stealing of money or assets of a company for one’s own personal gain, without the company’s consent. Oftentimes you may be allowed to handle your company’s funds, but it is unlikely that you were given permission to borrow money for the sake of your own personal enrichment. A Cincinnati embezzlement lawyer at Luftman, Heck & Associates can help.
In order to prove embezzlement charges, the following must be established:
- That you had a financial responsibility to the victim;
- That you obtained the money or funds in question through fraudulent means, as an employee of a company;
- That you had criminal intent to knowingly and intentionally take the money;
- The money was taken through means of fraud, misappropriation of funds, misusing corporate accounts, or unauthorized money withdrawals.
If you are facing an embezzlement conviction, the resulting penalties that you might face are dependent on how much money, property or assets were stolen.
The following information details what charge and penalty you may face for embezzlement:
If the value of the property stolen is $500 or less, you will face a first-degree misdemeanor and up to six months in jail.
If the value of the property stolen is between $500 and $5,000, you will face a fifth-degree felony and at least six to twelve months in prison.
If the value of the property stolen is between $5,000 and $100,000, you will face a fourth-degree felony and at least six and at most 18 months in prison.
If the value of the property stolen is between $100,000 and $500,000, you will face a third-degree felony and at least one to five years in prison.
If the value of the property stolen is between $500,000 and $1 million, you will face a second-degree felony and two to eight years in prison.
If the value of the property stolen is more than $1,000,000 you will face a first-degree felony and three to ten years in prison.
In addition to extensive jail or prison time, you will also face hefty fines as the result of an embezzlement conviction.