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What are some common types of employee embezzlement?

If you are a North Carolinian facing embezzlement charges, you need to speak with your attorney regarding exactly what it is that the prosecutor alleges you did. As you probably know, embezzlement is a white-collar financial theft crime, but it covers a wide range of specific activities.

Basically, embezzlement occurs when an employee or someone else entrusted with the care of another’s personal property steals or converts it to his or her own use or diverts it to someone else who likewise is not legally entitled to have it. To convict you of embezzlement, the prosecutor must prove that you had actual possession of the money and/or property you allegedly stole or that your job description and/or the practices of your company gave you control over it.

Computer embezzlement

If you work in your company’s IT department or have a good friend who does, you can embezzle company funds or assets in a variety of ways. Some of the most common include the following:

  • Skimming a small amount from every company sale via a trap door technique and electronically transferring it to your own account(s)
  • Inserting a trojan horse program into your company’s computer system that lets it perform simultaneous authorized and unauthorized functions, such as transferring unauthorized funds to you
  • Inserting logic bomb commands into your company’s computer system that lets it make periodic unauthorized funds transfers to you and/or your friend

Wire transfer embezzlement

In this form of embezzlement, which often is related to computer embezzlement, you allegedly altered or manipulated company accounts so as to divert funds to your own use. For instance, you could have intercepted and changed the information on account instructions coming in electronically or by fax.

Negotiable documents embezzlement

If you are charged with this form of embezzlement it means that the prosecutor is alleging that you stole, forged, altered, or otherwise illegally manipulated company documents so as to obtain money to which you are not entitled. Such documents could include the following:

  • Company checks
  • Money orders coming into the company
  • Refund authorizations going out of the company
  • Credit and/or debit memos applying to various company accounts

Credit embezzlement

This type of embezzlement charge means that you allegedly misused credit card numbers such as those of company customers or your company’s own credit card numbers. Employees often misuse the credit card numbers attached to dormant or inactive accounts to obtain unauthorized cash advances.

Whatever kind of embezzlement you have allegedly committed, you need to consult with your attorney as early as possible so you will know exactly what type of criminal prosecution you face.

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