Embezzlement is a type of theft crime in Nevada. It occurs when someone steals property that originally he/she was in possession of legally. An example is a convenience store clerk pocketing cash from a customer instead of putting it in the cash register.
Penalties for Nevada embezzlement are extremely serious. Not only do you face prison and fines. Employers may not hire you if they run a background check and see an embezzlement conviction.
Scroll down to learn about Las Vegas embezzlement law and how our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers can help.
Embezzlement is stealing property that you have been legally entrusted with. The legal definition of embezzlement in Las Vegas, Nevada is:
"Any bailee of any money, goods or property, who converts it to his or her own use, with the intent to steal it or to defraud the owner or owners thereof and any agent, manager or clerk of any person, corporation, association or partnership, or any person with whom any money, property or effects have been deposited or entrusted, who uses or appropriates the money, property or effects or any part thereof in any manner or for any other purpose than that for which they were deposited or entrusted, is guilty of embezzlement." (NRS 205.300)
Embezzlement is commonly called "employee theft" or "employee fraud" in Nevada. That's because many embezzlement cases stem from charges of workers stealing from their employers. Typical embezzlement scenarios in Las Vegas are:
- A casino worker stealing money from the cage
- Renting a car but never returning it.
- A contractor taking payment from a client but not performing the work
There are several legal defenses your Las Vegas criminal defense attorney may use when fighting Nevada embezzlement charges. The following are three of the more common strategies:
No intent to steal
You are not guilty of embezzlement if you did not mean to steal the property. For example:
Example: Your boss loans you a company printer to use at home for the weekend. You forget to bring it back on Monday. It's not embezzlement because you didn't mean to permanently deprive the boss of the printer.
Good faith belief
There is no embezzlement if you believe that you used the property in the way the owner wanted. For example:
Example: Your boss lends you a company credit card to buy office supplies. You use the card to buy the supplies and the gasoline it took to drive to and from the store. As long as the boss never said you couldn't use it for gas and you honestly believed that you could, no embezzlement occurred.
No jury should convict you of any crime unless the D.A. proves your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If your attorney can show that the state has insufficient evidence or that the evidence is unreliable, embezzlement charges should not stand.
Penalties (NRS 205.0835)
Embezzlement is punished the same as larceny crimes in Las Vegas. It depends on the value of the property allegedly embezzled:
Less than $650:
Embezzling up to $650 worth of money or property is a misdemeanor in Nevada. The sentence includes:
- restitution, and
- up to $1,000 in fines and/or up to 6 months in jail
Note that separate acts of misdemeanor embezzlement can sometimes be charged as one felony: This rule kicks in when the total value embezzled within a 6-month period is $650 or more.
From $650 to less than $3,500:
Embezzling money or property with a value of at least $650 but less than $3,500 is a category C felony in Nevada. Penalties include:
- restitution, and
- 1 - 5 years in Nevada State Prison and maybe $10,000 in fines
$3,500 and higher:
Embezzling money or property with a value of at least $3,500 is punished as a category B felony in Nevada. The sentence will be:
- restitution, and
- 1 - 10 years in prison and maybe $10,000 in fines.
Arrested? Phone us . . . .
To learn more about the possibility of getting your embezzlement charges reduced or dismissed, call 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673). Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers can meet with you for free to discuss your case.