A lesser sentence for an embezzlement charge through a plea deal

| Apr 3, 2020 | criminal defense |

An embezzlement charge requires a strong defense when the amount allegedly taken from an Arizona employer is more than $25,000. Classified as a felony offense, an employee’s punishment may include up to 12.5 years of incarceration, a $1,000 fine and restitution.

A conviction of felony embezzlement requires a prosecutor to prove an employee took money or property he or she managed for an employer. The employee must have breached trust by misappropriating company assets placed in his or her care.

The investigation must uncover proof of employee theft

Without a detailed investigation of a company’s accounting books, a prosecutor may have a difficult time proving a theft occurred. When a defense can disprove some of the evidence gathered, entering into a plea deal with the court may result in a lesser punishment. Pleading guilty, however, typically requires forgoing a jury trial.

Arizona employee sentenced for embezzlement

A Grand Canyon State resident found herself facing a serious felony embezzlement charge after allegedly writing checks and withdrawing cash from her former employer’s account. The owner of the auto body shop where she worked claimed she misappropriated at least $400,000 while employed as its office manager.

After working there for 34 years, her employer’s wife became suspicious of missing funds. She suspected the office manager had taken funds to purchase a motorcycle and other expensive vehicles while the company’s accounting books had been in her control. She reported the alleged theft to law enforcement officials. An embezzlement charge followed.

While an embezzlement conviction could include 12.5 years of incarceration, the former office manager received a lesser sentence. As reported by Autobody News, the former employee entered into a plea agreement and received a sentence of work furlough and probation.

As part of the deal, the former office manager accepted responsibility for the charge of embezzlement of at least $100,000. The court sentenced her to spend one year in jail while on work furlough at her current place of employment. She must also pay restitution to her former employer and complete five months of supervised release.