Are You Being Prosecuted For Embezzlement After An Accounting Error?

Posted on: 17 March 2018

Being an accountant for a large corporation can be a difficult situation. This fact is particularly true if you make a mistake that somehow costs your company money. In some instances, you may be pursued for embezzlement! Thankfully, it is possible to win this kind of case.

An Error May Be Interpreted As Embezzlement

While errors and embezzlement often seem the same to your company, they obviously differ in many ways. If you made an honest mistake in your accounting and your company lost money, you haven't done anything illegal. However, you have done something incompetent, and your business may believe that you somehow benefited from the action and embezzled money.

As a result, they may bring you up in a criminal lawsuit and try to get you thrown in jail. Even worse, they may try to pursue a civil case against you if a criminal one doesn't work. Therefore, understanding how your guilt is determined is crucial in a case such as this one.

How Your Guilt Is Determined

There are a few factors that must be in place before your case is considered embezzlement. The first of this is a fiduciary relationship. This means that you were responsible for taking care of your company's money. As an accountant, you fall under this heading.

Your actions must also have been deliberate and require you profiting from the error. Just as importantly, you must have taken ownership of the lost money. Typically, most accounting errors don't result in a monetary gain for an accountant. However, that doesn't mean your business won't try to prove you gained anyway. Thankfully, a defense is possible.

You May Defend Against This Claim

There are a few ways that you can defend yourself in this kind of case. For example, you can argue that you did not have the intent to commit a crime. If you simply committed a simple error that caused money loss to your company, you are not guilty of embezzlement. Proving that this is not the case is very hard to do if you somehow profited from the error.

Therefore, it is essential to somehow show that you did not make any money after making an error. The easiest way to showcase this is to bring in your bank account receipts and show that you don't have the money in your possession. Of course, the prosecutor may argue that you have the money hidden in a different account or in your home.

That said, a genuine mistake is usually pretty to prove in these types of corporate law cases. However, it may require hiring a professional who fully understands the intricacies of these cases. In this way, you can beat the negative rap and avoid serious jail time. Contact a law office like Carter & West Law for more information and assistance.