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Embezzlement and Employee Theft in Florida

There is no specific embezzlement or employee theft crime under Florida law. Embezzlement and employee theft fall under the general Florida Theft Statute § 812.014. Thus, these charges can range from a misdemeanor to felony based on the value of the property stolen and circumstances surrounding the crime.

Given that, embezzlement is the illegal appropriation of employer funds, assets, or resources for personal use. Embezzlement really hones in on the "crimes of dishonesty" stigma given to theft crimes in that with embezzlement there is a level of trust being violated when the employee that has access to resources that he or she would not have otherwise had access to and abuses them.

The fundamental difference between embezzlement and general employee theft is the level of control one has as an employee. Generally, embezzlement involves white-collar criminals, while employee theft involves stealing from smaller businesses.

Attorney for Embezzlement and Employee Theft in Gainesville, FL

Being charged with a crime of dishonesty such as embezzlement or employee theft can have serious supplemental consequences that extend far beyond the problems with being in a criminal justice system.

Embezzlement charges can affect your ability to get a job in the future or get professional licenses. If you or someone you know in Gainesville, Starke, Lake Butler, Palatka, Oscala, Bronson, Trenton, or any other city throughout the Gainesville Metropolitan Area, has been charged with embezzlement or employee theft, then contact the experienced attorneys of Galigani Law Firm.

The attorneys at Galigani Law Firm have years of experienced fighting for the rights of criminal defendants and are dedicated to providing the best possible defense.

With offices located at 317 NE 1st St, just minutes from the University of Florida campus, we represent clients throughout the Gainesville Metropolitan Area including the surrounding counties like Bradford County, Union County, Putnam County, Gilchrist County, Levy County, Columbia County, and Marion County, Florida.

Submit a free evaluation form or call (352) 375-0812 to speak one-on-one with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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What Are the Elements of Embezzlement in Florida?

The state of Florida doesn’t have a specific statute for the crime of embezzlement. Instead, embezzlement is charged as petit or grand theft in Florida. This means the elements for embezzlement are tied up in Florida’s theft laws, so they aren’t very specific. 

In an embezzlement case, the prosecution does not need to prove the offender stole from their employer without their consent. The reason for this is in a embezzlement case it’s assumed the alleged victim trusted the defendant with their finances. What the prosecution must prove instead is that the defendant intentionally spent, used, or took entrusted property without the consent of their employer.


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How Long Can You Go to Jail for Embezzlement?

Embezzlement also involves more than just the inappropriate use of money. In Florida, individuals can be charged with using their position or authority to appropriate trade secrets as well. Trade secrets are considered the formula, practice, or techniques that a company uses to manufacture its products. Under Florida Statute § 812.081, an individual who, with the intent to appropriate a trade secret to his or her own use or to the use of another, steals or embezzles an article representing a trade secret or without authority makes a copy representing a trade secret is guilty of a third-degree felony.

Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and up to $5,000 fines.


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What Are Some Examples of Embezzlement?

  • Forging company checks for yourself
  • Cashing customer checks that are payable to the company and pocketing the funds
  • Faking payments to fake vendors and then change the accounting system
  • Overbilling customers as a way to pocket the extra money
  • Stealing client’s credit or debit card information and using it for personal gain
  • Paddling an expense account such as having a lavish unneeded lunch
  • Paying for an expense with a company credit card and then requesting reimbursement later on for the same expense
  • Voiding transactions at the cash register and pocketing the cash
  • Pocketing some cash from a cash deposit bag
  • Raiding the petty cash box or safe
  • Skimming fundraiser money which is common in non-profits
  • Claiming a company laptop was lost when it never was
  • Falsifying overtime to receive overtime pay
  • Using the company credit card for personal purchases

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Other Penalties for Embezzlement Charges

According to crime statistics from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, nearly seventy-five (75%) of all employees steal from their employers at least once and half of them steal from their employer repeatedly. 

Grand theft may be charged as a first, second, or third-degree felony depending on the value of the property. Contact an attorney if you have been charged with any of the following:

  • Money laundering
  • Accounting errors
  • Grand theft
  • Scheme to defraud or
  • Fraud

In some instances, the punishment for embezzlement or employee theft may involve more than just jail time or fines. Florida courts have imposed fines such as the following for embezzlement convictions:

  • Community service
  • Restitution
  • Probation
  • Fines and Fee Obligations and
  • Prison time

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Additional Resources

Florida Statute for Embezzlement – Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature to find out more information about theft crimes in Florida including embezzlement, grand theft, petit theft, and shoplifting. The Statute includes information on the charges, elements, and penalties.

Embezzlement Statistics in Florida | FDLE - Visit the official website for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to read their embezzlement and other financial crime statistics thanks to the Uniform Crime Reporting program. Access the site to learn the laws for embezzlement, the amount of arrests for embezzlement this year, those arrests broke down by age and sex, what county those arrests stemmed from, and various other data that may act as a resource for you. 


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Defense Attorney for Embezzlement in Alachua County, Florida

Galigani Law Firm represents clients charged with all types of theft throughout the Gainesville Metropolitan Area, including Marion County, Putnam County, Gilchrist County, Bradford County, Union County, Levy County, and Columbia County, Florida.

If you or someone you know has been charged with theft, specifically embezzlement, grand theft, or employee theft in Florida, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who is known for aggressively fighting for the rights of criminal defendants.

With offices located at 317 NE 1st St, just minutes from the University of Florida campus, we represent clients, not only in Gainesville but in surrounding North Florida cities like Oscala, Palatka, Lake Butler, Bronson, Trenton and Starke, Florida.

Call (352) 375-0812 to schedule a consultation.