A criminal charge alleging embezzlement can take on many forms under state law. For most, these cases fall under the umbrella of theft, and the charge’s seriousness depends solely on the value of the items. However, state law creates a separate criminal charge that affects the supposed embezzlement of public funds. Under these cases, penalties for a conviction are always felonies and can also result in disqualification from holding public office in the future.
A Greenville embezzlement lawyer may be able to help you if you are facing accusations related to the improper use of funds entrusted to your care. They could work to disprove any wrongdoing on your part and fight to preserve your freedom and reputation in the community. Reach out to one of our tenacious white-collar defense attorneys to begin reviewing the details of your case.
Embezzlement can be challenging to understand. Most theft-related allegations involve claims that a person has taken property that is not theirs. By contrast, an embezzlement case considers the idea that a person may have property under their control with the owner’s permission for a limited use.
For example, a company may give a laptop to an employee for the specific purpose of doing work. If this employee uses the laptop to perform a job for another company or sells the computer, this is an improper use of the property. The law considers this misuse to be an example of embezzlement.
Embezzlement does not have its own specific statute under state law in most circumstances. As a result, prosecutions will move forward under the core larceny charge contained in South Carolina Code § 16-13-30 (A). The severity of the charge depends entirely on the value of the materials. Cases with a value of less than $2,000 will be charged as misdemeanor petit larceny. Once the value rises above this level, the case will be an example of grand larceny. A Greenville embezzlement attorney could help people facing general theft charges related to supposed improper use of property.
While the alleged embezzlement of property is usually a common larceny charge under state law, the legislature has taken a special interest in events that affect public funds. As a result, SC Code § 16-13-210 covers situations where a public official with access to funds embezzles that property.
Under this statute, it is a felony for any person to improperly use public funds. Improper use refers to any behavior that is outside of a person’s specific role within the government. This could include outright theft or cases where a person improperly transfers money within government accounts.
Convictions can come with a maximum prison term of ten years. In addition, the statute also eliminates the ability of the individual to hold public office anywhere in the state. Talk with a Greenville embezzlement attorney now to learn how they could help fight back against allegations of the misuse of public funds.
Any private citizen or public servant who uses someone else’s property or funds for anything other than their specific intended purposes may face criminal charges. A Greenville embezzlement lawyer could help individuals facing these serious accusations form a strong defense. This can include disputing the facts at the core of the case, challenging whether the use of the property was improper, or providing evidence that shows an item’s use was in line with the owner’s permissions. Call our firm today to schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can put our decades of experience to work for you.