Embezzlement is regulated under the Penal Code 503 PC, which defines it as fraudulent appropriation of another’s property that has been entrusted to you. Embezzlement is a white collar crime which mainly refers to as employee theft and employee fraud. Embezzlement in California falls under the umbrella of Penal Code 484 theft; hence, it is considered as one way to commit a theft.

Difference between Embezzlement and other Theft crimes

The main difference between embezzlement and other types of theft is the fact of entrusting something to somebody who is in charge of having access to that property or possesses it as per the legal rights given by the actual possessor.

Legal elements of Embezzlement

The offender will be convicted of the crime of embezzlement if s/he meets the following or if the prosecutor is able to prove all these three facts:

  1. Relationship with the victim;
  2. Further to that relationship, the offender had been entrusted with certain property;
  3. Intention to deprive the victim of that property by fraudulently taking it.

If the prosecution proves all these facts, you are guilty of embezzlement and the punishment depends on the weight of property embezzled.

Punishment for Embezzlement

Embezzlement is a wobbler, which means that it can be considered as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of embezzled property. If it is worth $950 and less, it is considered as a misdemeanor. And if it is more than $950, the offender will be charged with a felony offense. Hence, it is obvious that embezzlement is a serious crime, which is punished by the California Embezzlement Law.