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Some facts about embezzlement law in Texas

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Many people in Dallas, Texas think embezzlement and theft are the same, but they differ. While each jurisdiction treats embezzlement cases differently, typical penalties are fines and jail time.

Overview of embezzlement

White-collar crimes, or nonviolent financial crimes, include embezzlement. Similar to theft, embezzlement involves the taking of property and requires the intent to deprive someone of property.

However, it differs from theft because the person has been entrusted with property, such as a cashier. The cashier has been entrusted by their employer to operate the register and if they steal cash it counts as embezzlement.

Texas does not have a separate charge or statute for embezzlement, so it gets charged under the state theft laws. The penalties are based on the amount of cash or value of the goods stolen and charged under state or federal law. In some cases, if the crime occurred across state lines, the defendant can get charged under state and federal law.

Embezzlement penalties

Embezzlement of up to $100 commonly counts as a Class C misdemeanor with penalties of up to a $500 fine. Theft between $100 and $750 commonly carries penalties of up to six months in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine. Theft of $200,000 or more is a felony charge with penalties of up to $10,000 in fines and up to 99 years in jail.

Embezzlement of $1,000 at the federal level commonly includes fines of up to $1,000 and a one-year jail term. Enhanced penalties usually apply if the victim is 65 years old or older and/or worked for a nonprofit.

Sometimes, the plaintiff may resolve cases out of court and drop charges after negotiating a settlement with the defendant. If the case goes to court, the defendant can apply several defenses. such as they lacked intent.