When a person embezzles money or property, he or she is in lawful possession of said property and either uses it without authorization or without the intent to give it back to the owner. Per FindLaw, lawmakers had to create the crime of embezzlement to fill a loophole in the larceny/theft statutes of English law. Under the old law, one had to trespass for the courts to find him or her guilty of theft or larceny. However, there is no trespass with embezzlement, hence the need for the new crime. If the state of Illinois charged you with embezzlement, you may wonder if you are in fact guilty. FindLaw explains the elements of embezzlement and what and what constitutes as the crime.

For the charges against you to hold up, the claimant must show that you were in lawful possession of the property, that you used or converted said property for your own use and that you had no intention to ever return said property. The plaintiff must also prove that you acted with the intent to deprive him or her of his or her rights to the property by using them up, giving them away, selling them, withholding them permanently and inflicting serious damage.

Though the factors one must prove in an embezzlement case vary by state law, most states generally require the establishment of four elements. First, a fiduciary relationship must exist between the two parties. Second, you must have acquired the property or funds throughout the relationship. Third, you must have either transferred the property to someone else or taken ownership of it yourself. Finally, you must have acted intentionally.

This article is not meant to serve as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only.