In New Hampshire and elsewhere, embezzlement is the crime of taking cash or property for themselves from someone with whom he or she has a fiduciary or trust relationship.
Most people associate embezzlement with someone like an accountant, banker, attorney, or corporate officer who takes cash from their employer or client or person over whom they have a fiduciary duty, and transfers it to their own accounts or spends it unlawfully.
The crime is distinguishable from larceny, which only requires the taking of the property or cash from the victim.
Embezzlement requires the criminal to legally possess the property and to convert it to his or her use. There must also be a fraudulent intent to convert the property. It may not be sufficient to charge a person with embezzlement if he or she meant to return the property.
A New Hampshire embezzlement conviction is a felony
The average fine ranges from $100,000 to $250,000 and carries a prison sentence of 10-15 years, followed by probation of from five to seven years.
The objects of embezzlement include anything of value and can also mean real property, stocks and bonds, or personal property.
Embezzlement has a number of warning signs, including:
- Customers complaining of duplicate billings
- Delayed or missing bank deposits
- A large decrease in business profits
- Numerous outstanding bills
- Missing or gaps in accounting records
- Discrepancies in accounts payable and receivable
- Suspicious payments
- Suspicious billings
If you had a good-faith belief that you were entitled to the money or property, even if it appears to be unreasonable, this constitutes a viable defense. For instance, if you can demonstrate that what you did was common practice, you can argue that you had a good-faith belief you were authorized to take the money or property.
If you're facing an embezzlement charge in New Hampshire, it's imperative you hire a defense attorney with the experience and knowledge to avoid a conviction.
NH Attorney Ryan Russman has the criminal defense experience you need to obtain a successful outcome and get your life back to normal.