Could an embezzlement case prove challenging for prosecutors?

| Jan 20, 2021 | Blog, White Collar Crimes |

Embezzlement may seem to be a “cut and dry” crime to prove. If an employee directed a New York business’ funds to his/her personal accounts, doing so might appear to be embezzlement. However, not all accusations of embezzlement may revolve around obvious, provable actions. And no, difficult to prove embezzlement allegations might not involve complex conspiracies. Sometimes, embezzlement charges could be challenging for prosecutors to convict.

Providing evidence for embezzlement

Like all crimes on the federal or state level, prosecutors in an embezzlement case must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Presenting evidence in criminal court could help the cause of convincing a jury. Weak evidence may lead to an equally weak embezzlement case, which might make a conviction more difficult. In some instances, insufficient evidence could lead to dismissing charges. There may even be the possibility that a lack of evidence prevents an arrest or prosecution from even occurring.

Evidence comes in many forms. Eyewitness accounts could help build a case, but what if there are no witnesses? Financial reports, receipts, bank statements and other documents detailing cash flow and how someone diverted the money might be necessary.

Employers may have concerns about investigations

The employer may not want to report the embezzlement. Sometimes, more than one party might be involved with illegal activity. What if the business embezzled from actively underreports cash income to the IRS or state tax authorities? Worries about legal troubles could lead the business owner to accept the loss. Regardless, the business owner may eventually face consequences, whether embezzlement occurred or not.

Others may worry about reporting embezzlement due to concerns about the impact on the company’s reputation. Imagine if someone embezzled money from a financial services or accounting firm. The news could make clients wary about doing business with the enterprise. Maybe the company’s executives accept the loss if the amount was not very much. An employee who overbills a private firm for $1,000 worth of services may face termination and nothing more.

White-collar crimes such as embezzlement may or may not be challenging to prove — a case’s particulars factor into how hard a prosecutor’s job becomes. Those accused of embezzlement may want to consult with a defense attorney without delay.

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