Have you been served a subpoena or contacted by authorities as part of an investigation into your business or financial activities? Do you foresee any possibility that you could be implicated or charged with a "white collar" crime such as forgery, fraud or embezzlement? The time to get skilled counsel and representation is right now.
Our criminal defense team can help at any stage — including after your arrest — but you will certainly want an experienced lawyer on your side, to protect your rights and future, as early in this process as possible. At Marin and Barrett, Inc., our experienced team of Rhode Island Vandalism Embezzlement Lawyers has expertly defended hundreds of clients facing embezzlement and similar white collar offenses in R.I. Give us a call today to discuss how our criminal defense team's familiarity with local Rhode Island court system can help you resolve embezzlement charges on favorable terms. In most cases, our goal will be to secure a dismissal or reduction of your embezzlement charges and an attempt to put you in a position to be able to expunge the charges from your official criminal record. In some situations, however, especially if you have a prior record, we'll need to work toward a negotiated plea or be prepared to take your case to trial.
Call now to speak directly with our team of experienced
Rhode Island Embezzlement Defense Lawyers – (401) 228-8271
Depending on your exact circumstances and what we can learn through rigorous investigation, we may see an opportunity to help you avoid criminal prosecution altogether. If your exposure is clear and evidence against you is strong, we are proven negotiators who will work hard to minimize charges and consequences. Whatever your position and status — executive or secretary, contractor or government employee — we will take a discreet, active and determined approach to your defense.
What is embezzlement in Rhode Island?
Embezzlement and fraudulent conversion is defined in Rhode Island General Law 11-41-3 and similar to larceny in that is deals with the illegal transfer of goods. However, what makes embezzlement different from other forms of larceny is both how the defendant wound up in possession of the goods or money, and that the accused is in some type of position of trust with the victim. Simply put, embezzlement occurs when an individual lawfully receives goods in the course of acting as custodian or trustee of those goods, but then attempts to unlawfully or fraudulent keep the goods as their own. If you have been reading these FAQs on property crime, you know by now that these types of charges are never as simple as they seem, and embezzlement is certainly no exception. If you or a loved one has been charged with embezzlement, call us today and put us to work getting to the bottom of your case and crafting a winning defense.
What are examples of RI embezzlement charges?
More often than not embezzlement charges originate in the employment context, most commonly between employer and employee. For instance, a teller at a bank or clerk at a business is tasked with handling money as part of their job; if he or she pockets some of that money that they received as part of their work duties, that is an embezzlement. Oftentimes you'll hear of embezzlement charges when trustees for charities or nonprofits who take portions of the funds over time and convert it to their own. An embezzlement may be as simple as an employee at a coffee shop skimming money out of the cash box or as sophisticated as a months or years long scheme to take money from an organization. In any case, the penalties may be severe and the legal fight complex – give yourself the best chance of success by putting one of our experienced attorneys to work fighting your case.
Is embezzlement a felony or a misdemeanor in Rhode Island?
Unlike the other forms of larceny which have their own penalty section, embezzlement and fraudulent conversion has its own set of penalties spelled out in Rhode Island General Law 11-41-3. Given the added element of trust and fiduciary responsibility, embezzlement charges face particularly harsh punishment. If the value of the embezzled goods is less than $100, the embezzlement is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in a prison, a $1,000 fine, or both. However, if the embezzled amount exceeds $100, then it becomes a felony punishable by up to twenty years in prison, a fine of up to $50,000 or three times the amount of the embezzlement, or both.
RI EMBEZZLEMENT LAWS
§ 11-41-3 Embezzlement and fraudulent conversion - Every official of a financial institution and every officer, agent, clerk, servant, or other person to whom any money or other property shall be entrusted for any specific purpose, and every person acting as executor, administrator, conservator, guardian, receiver, assignee, custodian, or trustee appointed by order, decree or judgment of court, or by deed, will or other instrument in writing, who shall embezzle or fraudulently convert to his or her own use, or who shall take or secrete, with intent to embezzle or fraudulently convert to his or her own use, any money or other property which shall have come into his or her possession or shall be under his or her care or charge by virtue of his or her employment or for that specific purpose or by virtue of his or her acting as executor, administrator, guardian, conservator, receiver, assignee, custodian, or trustee, and every person who shall collect or receive money or property from another for a commission to be retained out of the money or other property so collected or received, and who shall fraudulently retain out of that money or property so collected or received more than the amount of the commission, and shall embezzle or fraudulently convert it to his or her own use, or shall take or secrete it with intent to embezzle or fraudulently to convert the same to his or her own use, shall be deemed guilty of larceny and shall be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or three (3) times the value of the money or property thus embezzled or converted, whichever is greater, or imprisoned not more than twenty (20) years, or both, except that if the sum or value of the property embezzled is less than one hundred dollars ($100), he or she shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
§ 11-41-11 Embezzlement by bank officer or employee - Every officer, agent, or servant of any bank, savings bank, or trust company who shall embezzle or appropriate to his or her own use any moneys, goods, effects, or funds of any bank, savings bank or trust company with intent to cheat or defraud it or any person, shall be deemed guilty of larceny, and shall be fined not exceeding twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) or be imprisoned for a term not exceeding twenty (20) years.
§ 11-41-11.1 Unlawful appropriation - Any person to whom any money or other property of another shall be entrusted or delivered for a particular purpose, who shall intentionally appropriate to his or her own use that money or property, shall be deemed guilty of unlawful appropriation and shall be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or three (3) times the value of the money or property thus appropriated, whichever is greater, or imprisoned not more than twenty (20) years, or both. However, if the sum or value of the property so appropriated is less than one thousand dollars ($1,000), he or she shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
§ 11-41-12 Fraudulent conversion by agent or factor - Every agent or factor who shall deposit or pledge any goods, wares, or merchandise or any bill of lading, receipt, or certificate of a warehouse keeper or inspector, or any warrant or order for the delivery of goods with which he or she shall have been entrusted, or which shall have been consigned to him or her as a security for any money or other property borrowed or received by the agent or factor, and shall apply or dispose of the proceeds to his or her own use, in violation of good faith, and with intent to defraud any owner of the goods, shall be deemed and taken to be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or be imprisoned not exceeding five (5) years.
Should I hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Rhode Island Embezzlement Charges?
Since you have reviewed the information on our website you now know how severe the penalties for embezzlement or similar white collar criminal offenses can be. With the possibility of up to 20 years in prison – not to mention the restitution costs – you should not leave the outcome of your embezzlement charge to chance. If you or a loved one has been charged with embezzlement or other white collar criminal charges, call us today at 401-228-8271 and put one of our experienced attorneys to work fighting your case. Our criminal defense team is available 24/7 to discuss your case and provide you with a no-obligation Rhode Island embezzlement defense strategy session.