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Taking a look at the federal penalties for embezzlement

| Apr 15, 2016 | Embezzlement |

From shoplifting to tax fraud, Americans are charged with a wide variety of financial crimes each year and some of them face harsh penalties. However, the consequences of being charged with embezzlement are often especially challenging for people in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and around the nation. For anyone who has been accused of embezzlement and is facing federal charges, understanding the penalties is very important.

According to the United States Sentencing Commission, there are many factors that impact the federal penalties for embezzlement. For example, the offense level is not increased for those charged with embezzling under $5,000, but the offense level is raised by two in embezzlement cases involving over $5,000 in losses. At higher offense levels, crimes are considered more serious and carry harsher sentencing guidelines. For cases involving more than $200,000, the offense level is increased by 12, while those which involve over $1 million in losses result in an increase of 16 offense levels. Other factors that influence the penalties for embezzlement include whether or not the offense involved firearms, carried a risk of serious injuries or death or included cultural heritage resources, to name a few.

The penalties for federal workers accused of embezzlement are also significant. The United States Department of Justice states that a U.S. agent or employee who retains unauthorized money and misuses it has committed embezzlement. For cases involving under $100, defendants face one year behind bars. However, cases involving over $100 can result in fines equivalent to the amount that was embezzled and a prison sentence of up to 10 years.