Bucks County Embezzlement Attorney

Across Pennsylvania in 2017, there were approximately 799,396 reports crimes handled by agencies of law enforcement. The state's uniform crime reporting system for the year classified roughly 165,390 of these criminal actions as theft, which includes those of embezzlement. This number excludes offenses of robbery, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.

Bucks County Criminal Cases

The Bucks County District Courts have traditionally prosecuted nearly 10,000 criminal cases each year. Recently, the number of criminal convictions has been declining. In 2017, there were 8,739 cases and in 2018 the number fell to 7,461, which is largely attributed to the rise in the number of offenders entering programs that allow for alternative dispositioning. The diversionary programs used include the Community Accountability Program (CAP) and Drug Court Diversionary Program (DCDP).

Understanding Embezzlement

Offenses such as embezzlement are grouped under the broader classification of theft. These are offenses where someone knowingly takes or withholds someone else's property without their permission. Theft allegations require proof that the defendant intended to deprive the owner of their property. The state defines depriving as an act that permanently withholds or otherwise disposes of the property so it is “unlikely that the owner will recover it.”

Acts of embezzlement are unique because the perpetrator is someone entrusted with some access or control by a business, government entity, or other organization. This is described as being a fiduciary relationship. The term fiduciary applies to situations where someone places trust in another person.

Misapplication of Entrusted Property (§4113)

The offense is committed by disposing of property in an unlawful manner that is detrimental to the owner. The perpetrator is in a fiduciary role; however, their intention is to benefit themselves. This may involve someone responsible for a governmental property or that belongs to a financial institution.

Theft by Failure to Make a Required Disposition of Funds Received (§3927)

This is a related offense that involves an act of intentional property theft where the offender “deals with the property obtained as his own.” The term “deals” implies the offender used the property that was intended “for a specific use.” For example, perhaps a payment to the organization intended to be deposited into the company account as accounts receivable is used for personal purposes.

Examples of Acts of Embezzlement

  • An authorized individual creates “false expenses” to divert funds for their own benefit
  • Perhaps the organization's funds are used for a payment to a “contractor” that has partnered with the offender in the scheme
  • A review of accounting records showing that checks were fraudulently stamped with the signature of the owner to appear legitimate
  • An employee with access to the payroll system increases their hourly rate of pay or monthly salary amount

Grading of Theft Offenses in Pennsylvania

The grade or level of a theft offense may be determined by the value of the loss:

  • Felony of the first degree: The amount was more than $500,000. The maximum sentence is 20 years and a $25,000 fine.
  • Felony of the second degree: The amount was between $100,000 and $500,000. The maximum sentence is 10 years and a $25,000 fine
  • Felony of the third degree: Amount was between $2,000 and $100,000. The maximum sentence is seven years and a $15,000 fine
  • Misdemeanor of the first degree: The amount was between $200 and $2000. The maximum sentence is five years and a $10,000 fine.
  • Misdemeanor of the second degree: The amount was between $50 and $200. The maximum sentence is one year and a $2,500 fine.

Bucks County Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skills and experience needed to effectively defend those facing allegations of theft. He will closely analyze the evidence and circumstances involved to implement a formidable defense strategy. Contact the office today for a case evaluation at (888) 535-3686.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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