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People who are entrusted with keeping an organization’s funds and assets safe, such as bankers, accountants and store clerks, are also entrusted with making sure those funds are used for their intended purpose. However, sometimes a person in such a position purposely takes those funds from the organization for their own personal use. This is known as “embezzlement.”

For example, a person in Michigan might commit embezzlement if they transfer funds into an account that looks like a legitimate business account, but it is actually a personal account. Or a person might create false bills and receipts that look like they were the product of the organization’s activities, and then transfer those payments to themselves.

Embezzlement is not limited to money. For example, a person might commit embezzlement if they use a company car, business phone or a work laptop for their own personal use. This is because these items are the property of the business, that a person is entrusted with using for business purposes but are actually being used for personal purposes.

Sometimes third parties are involved in embezzlement. For example, embezzlement may occur if a person works with a consultant or contractor who issues the organization a bill, which is paid when in actuality no work was performed, and then those payments are used for personal use.

Embezzlement is a fraud crime that has serious consequences. Because this post is for educational purposes only, those who are facing accusations of embezzlement may want to seek professional help. Attorneys in Michigan familiar with white-collar crimes may be able to provide further information on embezzlement.