You may work as an accountant, a banker, an executive or are in another occupation in the Wheeling area in which you are entrusted with your employer’s funds. This is an important role that places you in a position of both trust and authority. However, sometimes lapses in judgement are made, and you may be accused of embezzling your employer’s funds.

Defining embezzlement

What is embezzlement? Simply put, it is a white-collar theft crime in which a person in a place of trust or who has substantial control over another’s funds or property fraudulently takes it in order to either keep it for themselves or unlawfully transfer it to a third party. Substantial control is often a factor in embezzlement of an employer’s assets by an employee.

Embezzlement can take various forms. Sometimes small amounts of funds are misappropriated over a long period of time, in hopes that these amounts will go undetected. Other times, a large amount of funds will be taken all at once. Under-reporting income and keeping the difference is also a form of embezzlement.

Tax evasion and embezzlement

In addition, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could charge a person with tax evasion if the person does not include embezzled funds as gross income on their tax returns. If a person does report the funds on their tax returns and then later returns the funds to their rightful owner or pays restitution for the crime, then those funds may be deducted on their income tax return.

Seek help when facing embezzlement charges

Ultimately, embezzlement may occur as a one-time lapse of judgement or it may be a calculated endeavor. However, the consequences for embezzling funds in West Virginia can be severe. For this reason, if you are facing embezzlement charges, it is important to seek the assistance of an aggressive yet compassionate attorney who understands West Virginia law on embezzlement and can provide sound legal advice.