What do comedian Dane Cook’s half-brother, the former chairman of Enron and the former owner of the Stanford Financial Group of Companies have in common?
They’re all guilty of embezzlement, a white-collar crime that can carry massive penalties. But what is embezzlement, exactly? Is it taking money out of a petty cash account for personal lunches or is it something far more serious?
One thing’s for sure: if you’re being accused of this kind of corporate theft, you need to call a Milwaukee embezzlement lawyer immediately. You don’t want to gamble with the kinds of penalties that an embezzlement conviction can bring.
Embezzlement: Taking from the Company
Embezzlement is, in a nutshell, stealing money from an employer or investors. Whether you start a Ponzi scheme à la Bernie Madoff or you take millions from your brother (that’s what happened to Dane Cook), or you work as a human resources manager and pull money from employees’ checks and misappropriate it, you could be charged with embezzlement.
If you were entrusted with money as a result of your employment, and that money wasn’t yours but you intentionally used it without the owner’s consent, you can be convicted in the state of Wisconsin.
Many embezzlers “skim off the top,” taking only a little bit at a time to avoid rousing suspicion – but those amounts can add up quickly. An embezzlement charge doesn’t depend on how much money someone takes each time, though; it depends on how much they take overall.
The Penalties for Embezzlement in Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s penalties for embezzlement vary based on the amount of money or property you’re convicted of taking. Because every case is different, it’s important that you discuss all of the specifics of your case with your white-collar crime lawyer. If the value of the property is below $2,500, you’re looking at a misdemeanor; anything higher than that will count as a felony, and there are varying degrees from there.