Embezzlement is a so-called “white collar crime” in Illinois, meaning it is the type of crime normally committed in a professional environment or workplace. Embezzlement is a type of theft that occurs when somebody who was entrusted to manage or monitor the property or money of another person steals all or part of what they were entrusted with for personal gain.
This is different from theft because in an embezzlement situation the defendant had legal access to the money or property that they are accused of stealing.
When is Embezzlement Usually Charged?
Embezzlement charges are levied in a number of different circumstances. Often officers or employees of companies are accused of embezzling funds belonging to the company. Sometimes people who work in banks are accused of mishandling or stealing the money of bank customers. Sometimes family members who care for aging relatives are charged with a special type of embezzlement known as financial exploitation. Hedge fund managers, lawyers, board members, or other professionals who handle client or investor money can be accused of misappropriating those funds for their own gain. These are just some of the more common scenarios in which embezzlement charges are brought.
What are the Penalties for Embezzlement in Illinois?
The punishment for embezzlement in Illinois depends upon the type and value of the property that is alleged to have been stolen. No matter the amount, however, the penalties are steep, and even the smallest amounts carry the potential for jail time. If you are accused of embezzling money or property worth $500 or less, you still face a fine of up to $2500 and one year in prison. If you have previously been convicted of a theft-related crime, the penalty is enhanced and can be from one to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
If you are convicted of embezzling between $500 and $10,000, you face two to five years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000. Convictions of embezzling between $10,000 and $100,000 carry the potential of three to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If you are found guilty of embezzling between $100,000 and $500,000, then you face a fine of up to $25,000 and a prison term between six and 30 years. Convictions of embezzling between $500,000 and one million dollars of money or property carries a fine of $25,000 and between four and 15 years in prison, with no possibility of parole or probation. If you are found guilty of embezzling over a million dollars, the fine remains the same, and you face a sentence of six to 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
Enhanced Embezzlement Penalties
If you are found guilty of embezzling funds or property from a school, a government property, or a place of worship, you face enhanced penalties. By way of example, even being found guilty of embezzling money or property worth less than $500 can result in a $25,000 fine and one to three years in prison, and the penalties and prison time scale from there. If you are convicted of embezzling from an adult over the age of 60, you also face harsher penalties. By way of example, if you are convicted of embezzling over $5,000 from a person over the age of 60, the penalty is a fine of up to $25,000 and between three and seven years in prison.
The Law Offices of David Freidberg Can Help You
If you have been charged with embezzlement, you face the potential for massive penalties and jail time. Every embezzlement case is different, and you must talk to an experienced embezzlement criminal defense attorney who can evaluate the facts of your situation, passionately fight to have your charges dismissed or lowered, and fight for alternatives to criminal punishment. Contact us today at 312-560-7100 or email us, and let us fight for your rights.