David L. McCormick

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How do the white-collar crimes embezzlement and theft differ?

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2021 | White Collar Crimes

Two of the most common types of white-collar offenses are embezzlement and theft. If you find yourself facing charges of either of these crimes in Minnesota, it’s important to understand the consequences and how they differ.

What is theft?

Theft, also referred to as larceny, can vary in terms of the value of the property stolen. Petit larceny involves the theft of property that has a monetary value of $500 or less. Grand larceny, on the other hand, involves the theft of property that’s worth more than $1,000. The penalties a person can receive if they are charged and ultimately convicted of theft depend on the value of the property.

What is embezzlement?

Embezzlement is one of the most serious types of white-collar crimes. It is different from simple theft as it typically involves criminal activity within a business. For example, an employee of a huge corporation engages in illegal activities that can financially benefit them. This type of crime often occurs with individuals who have knowledge of the stock market while working for a company that deals with stock options. Their activities benefit them but at the expense of shareholders and other employees within the company.

Individuals who are convicted of embezzlement can face significant penalties, including lengthy prison sentences depending on how much money was involved and how it impacted other people. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, views these white-collar crimes very seriously as embezzlement can result in an entire business becoming bankrupt after trying to settle matters with people who lost money to a scheme.

While both theft and embezzlement involve stealing, the criminal charges are quite different due to the nature of the activity involved. Theft also involves property while embezzlement typically involves money or stocks.