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The crime of embezzlement is treated as a larceny offense in Virginia. We hear the words embezzlement often on television shows and in news reports. It most often occurs when a person steals from their employer.
The most common Statute for embezzlement in Virginia is Virginia Code Section §18.2-111.
The Statute is as follows:
§18.2-111. Embezzlement deemed larceny; indictment.
If any person wrongfully and fraudulently use, dispose of, conceal or embezzle any money, bill, note, check, order, draft, bond, receipt, bill of lading or any other personal property, tangible or intangible, which he shall have received for another or for his employer, principal or bailor, or by virtue of his office, trust, or employment, or which shall have been entrusted or delivered to him by another or by any court, corporation or company, he shall be guilty of embezzlement. Proof of embezzlement shall be sufficient to sustain the charge of larceny. Any person convicted hereunder shall be deemed guilty of larceny and may be indicted as for larceny and upon conviction shall be punished as provided in § 18.2-95 or § 18.2-96.
Defending Embezzlement Charges
To be convicted of embezzlement it must be proven that the accused actually took possession of the money or goods of another.
It must also be proven that the accused had the mental state of “wrongfully and fraudulently” intending to deprive the other of their property.
As in any type of larceny case, if the accused acted with a “bona fide belief,” correct or not, that he or she had a right to the property or money, then he or she cannot be convicted of embezzlement. Such defense to the charge exists because this belief of the accused would negate the necessary intent to deprive the owner of their property.
Further, to be convicted of embezzlement the property in question must have some value. The value determines the penalty.
If the value of the embezzlement is $200.00 or more, then the crime is punished as grand larceny. If the value is less than $200.00, then the petit larceny penalty applies.
There is a special statue that allows all acts of embezzlement that are committed within a 6 month period to be charged as a single offense.
James J. McCoart, III, has vigorously represented those accused of embezzlement for over 20 years. If you have been charged with embezzlement and want to discuss the criminal charge with an experienced attorney, then contact The Law Office of James J. McCoart, III, by telephone (703) 369-2734, or by email.