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Were you accused of embezzlement?

The term "white collar crime" describes a host of nonviolent criminal violations that usually employ deceit for the purpose of financial gain. Often committed in a business setting, white collar criminals get their name from the traditional manner of dress at an office.

Let's say you work as an accountant at a construction firm. Your boss asked you to transfer money from the corporate coffers into his personal checking account. In carrying out the request, you unknowingly helped your boss embezzle funds, a common white collar crime, and now you've been caught up in the criminal allegations.

What is embezzlement?

Embezzlement is one of the most common white collar crime violations. It involves the illegal stealing of money from a person or business to whom you owe a duty of trust and responsibility.

Embezzlement may happen if a person with access to a corporate bank account decides to move some of the money into his or her personal account -- effectively stealing the money. For example, a financial advisor might commit embezzlement through the inappropriate use of his or her client's money. Maybe the financial advisor used the client's money to purchase an expensive vacation, or to buy a new home for him- or herself. Or, perhaps a corporate CEO used his company credit card to buy his family's Christmas presents, but attempts to cover it up as business expenses.

The opportunities to embezzle money are virtually unlimited when someone has power over a company bank account. Just because it looks like embezzlement doesn't mean it always is. Numerous people are wrongly accused of this crime in New Jersey every year, and it's vital that these individuals take their criminal defense proceedings seriously.

Stiff consequences for those convicted of white collar crimes

Depending on the amount of money that you allegedly embezzled, an embezzlement conviction could result in 18 months to 10 years in prison. As such, if you're facing embezzlement charges, you may want to discuss the facts surrounding your accusations with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will try to reduce the threat of conviction and/or try to reduce the severity of punishments if a conviction is likely.

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