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If you are under financial pressure and you work at a job where you have access to the organization’s money, it can be tempting to take the funds you need to cover your bills. But if you take money or property from a federal agency that entrusted you to manage or monitor it, you can face federal embezzlement charges.

Federal Embezzlement

Under federal law, embezzlement takes place when someone has legal access to funds or property from the federal government or from a company that has a contract with the federal government, and they take that money or property for their own personal gain.

Two examples:

  • An accounting manager in a US agency who takes money out of the funds she manages as part of her job, and deposits them in her own bank account.
  • A subcontractor hired to supply computer services to a federal agency, who steals expensive government computer equipment he was supposed to use as part of his contract work.

Embezzlement by employees of a bank or credit union can also be charged as a federal offense.

Federal Penalties For Embezzlement

  • Individuals who embezzle money, property, records or anything else of value that belongs to the U.S. government worth less than $1,000 face up to a year in prison and/or a fine up to $100,000.
  • Individuals who embezzle more than $1,000 can draw up to 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.
  • If you embezzle printing devices, tools, stamps or other implements to create money, federal bonds, certificates, coupons, postage stamps or other items put into circulation by the US government, you can be fined $250,000 and sent to prison for up to 10 years no matter what the actual item you embezzled costs.
  • Federal officials, employees or agents who embezzle less than $1,000 of public money face up to a year in prison and/or a fine up to $100,000.
  • Federal officials, employees or agents who embezzle more than $1,000 of public money can draw up to 10 years in prison and/or pay a fine of $250,000 or an amount equal to the amount of money embezzled  — whichever is greater.
  • If you are employed by a federal court and convicted of embezzling less than $1,000, you can be fined up to $100,000 and/or have to spend up to one year in prison.
  • Federal court employees who embezzle more than $1,000 can spend up to 10 years in prison and/or be fined $250,000 or double the money embezzled — whichever is greater.

Your actual sentence will be determined by the circumstances of your case and federal sentencing guidelines.

Questions? Contact us today.

If you are charged with a federal crime, the consequences can be devastating. Fienman Defense will fight tenaciously to protect your constitutional rights. We will guide you through a court system that can be complex and intimidating, and provide you with the strongest possible defense.