Two common terms that we often hear in criminal cases are fraud and embezzlement. Many times, people use the two interchangeably, but that’s not correct. There are quite a few differences between fraud and embezzlement, which I’ll outline below.
Before we begin, please note that this does not constitute legal advice, and if you are in need of specific legal advice, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney to properly discuss your specific situation.
Now, what exactly is fraud and what exactly is embezzlement?
Fraud is defined as a wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain, or with the intent to deceive others by claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities that are unearned.
In a nutshell, fraud involves lying to or deceiving someone with the intent of personal or monetary gain. If you or someone you know has recently been accused of fraud, reach out to a criminal defense attorney today.
Embezzlement is the theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one’s trust or belonging to one’s employer or to secretly take money that is in your care or that belongs to an organization or business you work for.
In a nutshell, embezzlement deals with stealing money that has been trusted to you from an employer or organization. If you or someone you know has recently been accused of embezzlement, you’ll need a qualified and experienced embezzlement lawyer to handle the case.
Differences Between Fraud and Embezzlement
- Embezzlement occurs when a person is entrusted with money or assets, whereas with fraud, there is no need for money or assets to be entrusted for fraud to occur.
- Embezzlement typically always pertains to money or assets being stolen or misappropriated, where fraud does not have to deal specifically with money or assets, for example, someone falsifying their work history in order to gain employment could constitute fraud.
Criminal penalties for fraud are typically weighted by the value of the damages caused by the fraud, with higher dollar amount susceptible to felony punishment. For embezzlement, criminal penalties are typically dealt with based on the monetary amount, with higher amounts of money susceptible to felony punishments.
While fraud and embezzlement both deal with being dishonest, they do so in different ways. Contact Andrew H.P. Norton, a qualified criminal defense lawyer, if you have specific questions regarding a fraud or embezzlement case.