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Michigan Embezzlement by an Officer of a Financial Institution Lawyer 

The United States government strictly controls the actions of banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. This includes the actions of the employees and officers of these banks. One of the ways that Congress controls the actions of these officers is by punishing people who steal or embezzle funds from financial institutions.

If a bank is federally chartered, a government bank, or insured by the FDIC, that bank’s officers are subject to federal laws. As such, if an officer of that bank is accused of embezzling customer or bank property, they may face prosecution by the federal government.

If you find yourself facing charges for such an act, a Michigan embezzlement by an officer of a financial institution lawyer may be able to help. Seasoned embezzlement attorneys could work to analyze the prosecutor’s case, sift through the mountains of documentary evidence that typically accompany these cases, and present a defense in court designed to protect your freedom and best interests.

What is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is a type of theft, according to Michigan state law. Legally speaking, however, not just any person can embezzle from another party. In order to commit embezzlement, a person must have a legal right to hold someone else’s property before they steal it.

This consistently applies to officers of financial institutions. These officers are trusted to hold the funds and financial assets of not just customers, but the bank itself. Any time they improperly transfer this money or take it for themselves outright, the law classifies this as an act of embezzlement.

Federal Law’s View of Financial Officer Embezzlement

Because the officers of financial institutions routinely handle vast sums of money, the laws that punish the embezzlement of these funds are harsh. 18 U.S.C. §656 states that any theft, embezzlement, or misapplication of funds by any employee or officer of a financial institution is a crime.

The severity of this crime depends on the dollar value of the funds or goods embezzlement. For all embezzlements valued at less than $1,000, the crime is a misdemeanor for which the maximum penalty is one year in jail and the payment of fines.

However, as soon as the value of the embezzlement climbs to $1,000 or above, the associated criminal charge becomes a felony. Here, the potential penalties are much harsher. A conviction could result in up to 30 years in prison, fines of up to $1,000,000, and an order to pay restitution to any victims.

Similar provisions apply to people accused of embezzlement while an employee or officer of any lending institution or credit union. These people are also trusted to properly handle client funds, and any theft also counts as embezzlement. According to 18 U.S.C. §657, the same potentially life-altering penalties for a conviction apply as those for people convicted of embezzling from a bank.

How a Michigan Embezzlement by an Officer of a Financial Institution Attorney Could Help

Allegations that a person has embezzled client funds or bank property while serving as an officer of that institution are serious matters. These people are specifically entrusted with the property of others, and as a result, Congress considers theft of this property to be an especially egregious offense.

Working with a Michigan embezzlement by an officer of a financial institution lawyer could be a powerful first step. Whether your goal is to negotiate a fair plea deal in the hopes of avoiding a jail sentence or to fight your charges at trial, a seasoned embezzlement attorney may be able to help. Call today to discuss your case.