Embezzlement is a less common offense than other, more well-known crimes like theft and fraud. If you have been accused of this crime, you might not fully understand the charge against you.
Under Michigan Law, embezzlement is money or property that was wrongly taken by someone to whom it was entrusted. This usually occurs during the course of an individual’s employment and can leave the individual facing serious penalties.
Penalties vary depending on the amount of money involved
In Michigan, the penalty you face for an embezzlement charge will depend on how much money (or property value) was stolen. The higher the value, the more serious the penalty.
If the money or property involved was worth less than $200, the penalties include a maximum fine of $500 or up to three times the value of the property. It can also mean up to 93 days in jail or both if serious enough. If the monetary value was more than $200 but less than $1000, penalties include a fine of up to $2,000 or three times the value of the property. There’s also the likelihood of jail time with a maximum of one year.
For larger amounts, the penalties are as follows:
- $1,000 – $20,000 – a fine of up to $10,000 or three times the amount of the money embezzled, as well as five years in prison, or both
- $20,000 – $50,000 – a maximum fine of $15,000 or three times the amount of money involved – whichever is greater. It also comes with a prison sentence of up to ten years
- $50,000 – $100,000 – a fine of up to $25,000 or three times the amount embezzled and up to 15 years in prison, or both
- $100,000 or more – the fine increases to a maximum of $50,000 or three times the value of the property embezzled and up to 20 years in prison
Given the seriousness of the penalties for an embezzlement charge, it’s important to have some legal assistance from the outset in defending the case against you.