Embezzlement is a form of theft crime, but unlike petty theft (where a defendant is accused of stealing from an entity with whom they have no relationship), embezzlement charges govern cases where someone steals from an entity with which they have a relationship. More specifically, embezzlement cases involve situations where a person is entrusted with managing someone’s money or property, and they are accused of stealing or unlawfully using those resources.
In any embezzlement case, the relevant facts have to do with a.) the nature of the relationship between the alleged victim and the defendant, and b.) the value of the property or money that was allegedly stolen. The most common embezzlement cases involve employees allegedly taking money or property from an employer.
Requirements & Penalties for Misdemeanor Embezzlement in Michigan
In Michigan, embezzlement is charged both as a misdemeanor and as a felony. Defendants will face misdemeanor embezzlement charges if they are accused of:
- Embezzling less than $1,000 of value
- Embezzling less than $200 with a prior embezzlement conviction
- Embezzling less than $200 from a charity or nonprofit organization
For cases involving less than $200 of value, the penalty is normally 93 days in jail as well as a fine of 3 times the value of the stolen property (or $500, whichever is greater). For cases involving property worth more than $200, a defendant with a prior conviction, or a victim that is a charity or nonprofit, the penalty will be up to a year in jail and a fine of 3 times the property’s value (or $2,000, whichever is greater).
Requirements & Penalties for Felony Embezzlement in Michigan
Felony embezzlement is a far more serious crime, resulting in larger fines and longer sentences. Defendants will face felony embezzlement charges if they are accused of:
- Embezzling more than $1,000
- Embezzling more that $200 with a prior embezzlement conviction
- Embezzling more than $200 from a charity or nonprofit organization
- Embezzling more than $50 as a public official
- Embezzling as an administrator or guardian
- Embezzling from a vulnerable adult
- Embezzling jointly held property
- Embezzling a financial institution
Note that the key fact in many felony embezzlement cases is not just the amount of money involved, but the nature of the relationship. In general, the more a person is entrusted with another person’s well-being (or the public’s well-being), the harsher their embezzlement penalty will be.
The penalties for felony embezzlement are as follows.
Up to 5 years in prison and $10,000 minimum in fines for:
- Embezzling $20,000 or less
- Embezzling $1,000 or else with a prior conviction
- Embezzling $1,000 or less from a nonprofit or charity
Up to 10 years in prison and $15,000 minimum in fines for:
- Embezzling $50,000 or less
- Embezzling $20,000 or less with multiple prior convictions
- Embezzling $20,000 or less from a nonprofit or charity
A defendant will face up to 15 years in prison and $25,000 minimum in fines for embezzling $100,000 or less.
For embezzlement of more than $100,000, the penalty goes up to 20 years in prison and $50,000 in fines minimum.
Speak with an Embezzlement Defense Attorney Today
The firm of Daniel D. Hajji, Attorney at Law provides strategic and relentless defense counsel for people accused of embezzlement and other white collar crimes. As a Farmington Hills defense lawyer, I offer my clients availability 24 hours a day, answering their questions and solving their problems while preparing their cases for trial. No attorney in Oakland County will fight for you like I will—speak with me in a free consultation as soon as possible.
Call (248) 599-0054 for a free consultation today.