What are the penalties for embezzlement?

The penalties for embezzlement in Pennsylvania depend on whether or not the crime is considered only at the state level or also includes the federal level. The form of financial fraud may be classified as a felony or only as a misdemeanor depending on the property value of the theft. The complicated crime could cause the defendant to appear in both federal and state court. 

According to Cornell Law School, embezzlement is when someone fraudulently takes the property of someone else. The misappropriation of money is the most common form of embezzlement. The financial fraud can occur regardless of whether or not the defendant transfers the property or keeps it for themselves. Embezzlers could face tax evasion if they fail to report embezzled funds on their annual income taxes.  

The Pennsylvania Legislature breaks down the penalties for various fraudulent activity in Title 18 Chapter 41 of the law. In section 4107, the state focuses on deceptive or fraudulent business practices. Violating any of the laws could result in as small as a summary offense with a fine less than $500 or as serious as a third degree felony. The amount of money taken or the value of the property fraudulently procured determines how the state defines the penalty.  

Embezzlement charges can result from a few dollars here and there or to millions deceptively taken over several years. Many businesses are cracking down on embezzlers and imposing their own penalties outside of the court system. Not only can the defendant lose their job, but they could face serious consequences affecting any future employment.