Stealing money or deceptively taking property while in a position of trust is known as embezzlement. The crime generally involves employees who use their employer’s funds for their own personal benefit. The offense can range from financial advisors embezzling funds from investors to a spouse embezzling funds from a joint bank account with their own partner. Although Iowa law does not have a statute for embezzlement, if a person commits the crime, they will be charged with a degree of theft depending on the value of the stolen goods.
If you or someone you know has been accused of committing embezzlement, it’s within your best interest to secure legal representation as soon as possible. Based on the circumstances of the crime, you could be facing felony charges. That means if you’re convicted the judge could sentence you to prison and order you to pay expensive conviction fines upon release.
With so much at stake, it’s imperative you are prepared with a defense formidable enough to take on the prosecution.
Embezzlement Attorney, West Des Moines | White Collar Crimes in Iowa
Embezzlement is a misdemeanor and felony crime that could lead to life-altering consequences. If you’ve been arrested for embezzlement or another type of theft, call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. The attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. have decades of collective experience practicing criminal defense. They have defended numerous clients charged with embezzlement and other theft crimes successfully utilizing their skills, resources, extensive network, and vast experience as defense lawyers. With their help, you may be able to reduce your charges or get them dismissed entirely.
Call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. to set up your first consultation with the lawyers at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. free. Their offices are in West Des Moines, but we accept clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area. These include, but are not limited to Adel, Polk City, Altoona, Windsor Heights, Perry, Dallas Center, Redfield, Minburn, Van Meter, Johnston, and Ankeny.
- How Much Money is Considered Embezzlement?
- Is Embezzlement a Felony in Iowa?
- Defenses to Embezzlement
- Additional Resources
How Much Money is Considered Embezzlement?
According to the Iowa code, embezzling any amount of money, services, property, or goods is a violation of the Iowa Code Section 714.2. Technically, embezzlement does not have a statute under the Iowa Code. The crime of embezzlement and other related offenses of this nature are instead consolidated under the Iowa’s theft statute.
Prosecutors will have to prove that the alleged offender appropriated money, services, or something else of value from another person/entity while they were in a position of trust. That person can range from an employer to a client to the executor of another’s estate. The amount of money stolen doesn’t classify the crime as embezzlement. What classifies a crime as embezzlement is that the offender committed theft by utilizing their position of trust.
Some common examples of embezzlement include, but are not limited to:
- Granting a fake loan without the proper authorization
- Intentionally shortchanging customers or clients
- Taking the difference from a transaction
- Using the company check book for their own personal benefit
- Stealing an item from work and refunding it to obtain cash
- Stealing from the “petty cash” container
- Steer company funds into a personal checkings or personal banking account
Is Embezzlement a Felony in Iowa?
The short answer is it will depend on the market value of the money, goods, services, etc. that was embezzled. The penalties for embezzlement can be found under section 714.2 of the Iowa Code. Embezzling money or property valued at less than $300 will result in a simple misdemeanor, which is punishable by:
- Up to 30 days in jail
- A fine of up to $625
If the offender embezzled more than $300 but less than $750, then they’ll be charged with fourth-degree theft. Theft in the fourth degree is a serious misdemeanor and the crime carries the following penalties:
- Up to 12 months in jail
- A fine of up to $1,875
If an individual does one of the following, they’ll be charged with an aggravated misdemeanor.
- Embezzled property exceeding $750, but not exceeding $1,500
- Embezzled property not exceeding $750 and has two prior theft convictions
An aggravated misdemeanor carries the following penalties:
- Up to 2 years in jail
- A fine of up to $6,250
Embezzling property exceeding $1,500 but no more than $10,000 in value will result in a class D felony. The maximum penalty a person can receive for a class D felony includes:
- Up to 5 years in prison
- A fine of up to $7,500
Crimes of embezzlement involving property or cash valued at more than $10,000 is a class C felony. A class C felony is punishable by:
- Up to 10 years in prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
How to Get Out of Embezzlement Charges
Embezzlement is a serious crime that carries a heavy social stigma. If you found yourself facing charges, the consequences extend past the statutory penalties. A conviction could limit your employment and housing prospects dramatically once you’ve finished your term of imprisonment. You’ll also have difficulty applying for a professional license or even qualifying for a business or home loan if you have an embezzlement conviction on your record.
Thankfully, you can fight back against these allegations. The first step is to hire an experienced defense attorney who has extensive practice with white collar crimes and financially motivated offenses. Your attorney can provide a thorough case analysis and using their resources and years of practice formulate a defense to challenge the prosecution’s argument. Some possible defenses include you were on a good faith basis to believe you were entitled to use the money or the wrong person has been accused of embezzlement.
Iowa Embezzlement Laws – Visit the official website for the Iowa Code to learn more about Chapter 714, which addresses crimes related to theft and fraud. Access the statute to learn more about the crime of embezzlement’s penalties and other related fraudulent offenses.
Denison Woman Convicted of Embezzlement – Visit the official website for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa to read up on a press release related to a recent embezzlement case. Access the site to read the story about a Denison woman who was involved in an embezzlement and fraud scheme valued at 1.5 million dollars.
Iowa Embezzlement Defense Lawyer | West Des Moines
An accusation of embezzlement could uproot your professional and personal life as you know it. If you’ve been arrested or are being investigated for embezzlement or any type of theft, call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Our lawyers at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. have represented numerous people accused of financial and white-collar offenses with promising results. We will thoroughly analyze your case and develop an argument formidable enough to take on the prosecution.
Call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. today at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Des Moines area including Polk County and Dallas County.