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What it means to be accused of embezzlement

There are many types of crime that are committed every day. However, there are also many people who are accused of a crime they did not commit. Even if they did commit the crime, there is often a different side of the story that may paint any alleged incident in a different light. If a person in Illinois is accused of embezzlement, there are several things that must be proven.

Embezzlement occurs when a person is given responsibility over the assets of a business or another person. They are trusted to manage or use these assets in a manner that is in the best interest of the owners. If those funds are used for the personal interest of the person trusted to manage them, a charge of embezzlement could result. This type of crime typically occurs in a work setting. For example, an accountant might alter a business's books to hide funds.

It is important to ensure that those facing embezzlement charges are not wrongfully accused. For example, the scenario could be the result of errors by the accountant instead of a criminal act. In order to prove embezzlement charges, several factors must be met. First, it must be proven that there was a relationship between the two parties in which one relied on the other in matters of finance. Additionally, there must be proof that the accused purposefully took the property or gave it to someone else.

As in all criminal cases in Illinois, anyone accused of embezzlement is presumed innocent until -- and only if -- prosecutors are able to provide sufficient evidence that the person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and a conviction is obtained. This is often a difficult standard to meet. A person facing such charges will likely want to seek experienced help to ensure that his or her rights are preserved throughout the criminal process.

Source: Findlaw, "Embezzlement", Oct. 18, 2014

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