When we think of theft, we often think of burglaries or robberies in which someone enters the physical property of another person and removes something from it. While many theft crimes occur this way, theft may also occur in less tangible forms. One example of this is embezzlement, which involves stealing the money of another party through wire transfers, bank account maneuvers, or other covert means of moving funds around. If you are under suspicion of embezzlement, you should consult a white collar crime attorney who can vigorously protect your rights to the full extent of the law. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, Milwaukee embezzlement lawyer William J. Reddin has substantial experience assisting defendants with fighting back against these charges.Understanding Embezzlement Laws in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, embezzlement is not defined as a separate crime by statute. Instead, it is contained within Wisconsin’s theft by fraud statute. Broadly speaking, embezzlement occurs when an individual who is entrusted with managing or monitoring the money of another person or entity steals that money for their own personal gain. Theft by fraud is defined as obtaining title to the property of another party by an intentional deception, using a false representation that is known to be false, that is made with the intent to defraud, and that does defraud the party to which it is made. In the case of embezzlement, this may happen when an advisor or money manager tells a person that they are managing their money while actually stealing the money from them.
Wisconsin law also explicitly makes it a crime to steal money from someone in a financial institution. If an individual knowingly uses, transfers, or takes the money of another party that is under the control of a financial institution, without the authority of the institution or with the intent to take the money for personal use, this may result in a separate criminal charge.Mount a Defense to Minimize the Penalties
People who have allegedly violated Wisconsin’s theft by fraud statute may be charged with anything from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class G felony. For theft of amounts under $2,500, only a misdemeanor charge may be filed, leading to a possibility of up to nine months in jail. For more significant thefts, the punishment increases in conjunction with the dollar value of the amount stolen. A Class G felony may result in up to 10 years in prison, for instance. The crime of stealing from a financial institution is punished similarly, but with the potential for an even more significant charge of a Class E felony for amounts over $100,000.
Embezzlement is a complicated crime. It requires the state to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly took the money of another party through an act of deception and that the defendant had the intent to deprive the other party. Depending on the situation, this may allow for many defenses, including that any act of theft was done accidentally or only for the purpose of borrowing money, or that no act of deception ever occurred. Especially in complicated financial transactions and with large businesses, money may be unintentionally moved in a manner that appears to be embezzlement but never actually was meant to be so. For this reason, it is very important to speak with a criminal defense attorney if you have not done so already.Contact an Experienced Embezzlement Lawyer in Milwaukee
Criminal charges are never a matter to be taken lightly. If you are being investigated for embezzlement or are concerned that you may be facing charges, a criminal defense attorney can advise you on an appropriate course of action. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, Milwaukee embezzlement attorney William J. Reddin can help you try to minimize or avoid any consequences of these allegations. Contact us at (414) 271-6400 or online to set up a free consultation. We represent people in Racine, Mequon, Port Washington, West Bend, Waukesha, and other cities in Milwaukee, Racine, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha Counties.