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Chicago Embezzlement Defense Attorney
Embezzlement is a type of white-collar crime that involves theft by a person in a position of trust. Embezzlement usually occurs in an employment setting. Embezzlement may be prosecuted as a state or federal crime, depending on the amount of theft and the nature of the business.
Unlike other types of theft, embezzlement occurs only if the defendant was entrusted to manage the property he or she is accused of stealing. The property is usually monetary and is obtained through a wide range of conduct. For example, taking small amounts of cash from the register and skimming millions from client accounts are both examples of embezzlement.
Illinois Embezzlement Law
In Illinois, embezzlement charges may be brought under 720 ILCS 5/16-1. Embezzlement occurs when:
- The defendant is entrusted to manage property (usually monetary); and
- The defendant acquires the property through his or her entrusted position; and
- The defendant takes or transfers the property for personal gain; and
- The defendant's actions are intentional and not merely an accident
Illinois Embezzlement Sentences
Embezzlement sentences in Illinois are based on the value of the property stolen – the higher the value, the harsher the punishment. Additionally, if the defendant stole from a school, from a place of worship, from a person age 60 or older, or from the government, he or she will face enhanced penalties under 720 ILCS 5/16-1(b).
Alternatives to Prison
A prison sentence may be avoided depending on the value of the property stolen. Possible alternatives to incarceration include a sentence of probation, paying restitution and fines, completing significant amounts of community service, and receiving treatment for underlying issues where appropriate.
What You Should Do
- Be respectful.
- Calmly record the interaction.
- Ask if you are free to leave. If you do not ask, the officer may think - and the judge may agree - that the interaction is consensual.
- If you are free to leave, go! If you are not free to leave, do not answer and questions before speaking with your attorney.
What You Should Not Do
- Do not physically resist arrest.
- Do not become aggressive or confrontational.
- Do not consent to a search. The Constitution does not apply if you consent.
- Do not answer questions without first speaking with your attorney. Police are allowed to hold you for 48 hours and they may lie to you the entire time.