A person commits the white collar crime of embezzlement by using the assets of another person or entity without permission for their own personal benefit. This crime is usually committed by individuals in positions of responsibility for the assets of another, such as a banker, trustee, or lawyer. It can be committed by anyone with access to the finances or stocks of another person, however, and is severely penalized as a theft offense in the state of Illinois.
Embezzling another party’s money is a form of theft, the penalties of which vary depending on the amount stolen. According to 720 ILCS 5/16-1, the following are classifications for theft crimes according to value:
- Less than $500: Class A misdemeanor
- $501 – $10,000: Class 3 felony
- $10,001 – $100,000: Class 2 felony
- $100,001 – $500,000: Class 1 felony
- $500,001 – $1,000,000: Class 1 non-probationable felony (mandatory prison sentence)
- More than $1,000,000: Class X felony
For reference purposes, a Class A misdemeanor will incur a possible jail sentence of up to a year and a fine of up to $2,500. For a Class X felony, a convicted offender could face a natural life sentence. This is why you should not wait a moment to retain a Chicago criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with embezzlement.
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