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Misappropriation of assets is a serious white-collar crime in Illinois and quite common. A recent report noted that misappropriation schemes are the most common type of work-related fraud. It is a serious charge, but potential defenses are available with a skilled lawyer’s help. If you have been charged with this crime, please contact our Palos Heights criminal defense attorneys at Michael D. Ettinger & Associates for assistance.
The most common misappropriation of assets charge in Illinois is embezzlement. This crime happens if you misappropriate or illegally abscond with the personal property of someone else entrusted to you. Intangible property that qualifies under an embezzlement charge includes money, cars, jewelry, stocks, bonds, and other things of value.
Whether you are convicted of embezzlement or a related crime, there are severe punishments for misappropriation of assets, based on the property’s value. They are:
How much jail or prison time you receive depends on the severity of the charge. Generally, you can receive between one to 30 years in jail or prison. Further, if you are convicted of federal embezzlement, you face a minimum $1,000 fine, a year in jail, up to a $250,000 fine, and 10 years in federal prison. Most misappropriation of assets cases are charged as felonies, so skilled legal counsel is vital to your future.
Also, how harshly this misappropriation of assets charge is treated depends on other factors. During the case, the prosecutor may attempt to prove your guilt by providing evidence of one or more of the following:
Misappropriation of assets and embezzlement usually leave a detailed paper trail. However, the Illinois prosecutor still has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had the intention or knowledge of the theft. There are several possible defenses in this case. First, you might argue that you lacked intent to commit the crime or any theft because of how you understood the instructions at that moment.
Or, your attorney may argue that you lacked knowledge of the crime if you can show the court that you were unaware of the results of the actions in question. Another option is showing duress when you committed the alleged crime, which could be a valid defense if someone forced you to act against your will. Last, you could argue that you were incapacitated during the alleged crime, such as being intoxicated.
If you have been accused of misappropriating assets, you could receive serious jail time if convicted. But with the help of our Palos Heights criminal defense lawyers at Michael D. Ettinger & Associates, there is a chance of a favorable outcome, so call today at (708) 923-0368.