Embezzlement is a king of larceny wherein the offender is entrusted with the custody or control of property belonging to another due to the offender’s employment, or position of trust. The offender then proceeds to use, conceal, convert, or dispose of any or all of the funds or property with the intention of permanently depriving the rightful possessor of the use of that money or property.
In the state of Virginia, the penalties of embezzlement depend on the value of the thing embezzled. Embezzlement of something that’s worth more than $200 is punishable as felony grand larceny, which means up to 20 years in prison. Embezzlement of something worth under $200 is punishable as misdemeanor petit larceny, which results in up to one year in jail.
If the goods embezzled are worth less than $200, the offense is a misdemeanor. Embezzlement in Virginia is punished the same way as a petty larceny charge. A first offense embezzlement charge in Virginia is a class one misdemeanor, with up to one year in jail as punishment, a fine up to $2500, and restoration. A second offense embezzlement charge in Virginia is punished with a minimum of thirty days in jail up to one year, up to $2500 fine, and restoration. A third offense embezzlement charge in Virginia is a felony, punished with up to five years in prison and a fine up to $2500. If the goods embezzled are worth more than $200, the offense is punished as a grand larceny charge under. Embezzlement of goods worth more than $200 is punished with up to twenty years in prison and a fine up to $2500.
Along with the punishments stated above, courts also will often make people convicted of embezzlement pay restitution. Restitution is money that is paid back to the victim of a crime by the offender to make up for the property that they stole. Restitution is a way for the court to help the victim cover some or all of their losses.
To get a conviction in the state of Virginia for embezzlement, the state must prove that:
- The accused took something of value;
- The value was $500 or greater so that the state can prove a felony;
- The property belonged to someone else;
- The possessor did not consent to the taking;
- Movement of the property taken; and
- The taking was linked with the intention of permanently depriving the possessor of the property.
How Embezzlement and Larceny are Different
If a person walks into a store and tales money from the cash register, that would be larceny. Now let’s say, in another scenario that same person gets employed at the store as a cashier and is given access to the cash register as part of their job. This person has the store’s consent to be handling the money; if this person then decides to take some of that money home, then that is embezzlement. In some cases, it is hard to differentiate.