In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Larceny by Embezzlement is a serious crime, punishable by time in prison, fines, and payment of restitution to victims. The more valuable the assets in an embezzlement charge, the more severe the penalties may be. Larceny by Embezzlement is defined under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 266, Section 30 as a statutory theft crime. It is in violation of this statute to intentionally misappropriate entrusted assets.
Although Massachusetts considers embezzlement as a crime of larceny, there is a major difference. In a larceny, the defendant was never authorized to be in possession of the property, which is carried away from the rightful owner. In an embezzlement, the defendant has been granted possession of the property, but then unlawfully converts it for their own use. For example, an accountant receives payments on behalf of a company, but then diverts the funds into their own account.
In order to convict a charge of larceny by embezzlement, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
As conspiracy to commit Larceny by Embezzlement is also in violation of the statute, the theft does not need to be complete in order for charges to be made.
Examples of Embezzlement Crimes
Financial Larceny by Embezzlement Charges
Punishments for a larceny by embezzlement conviction are dependent on the value of the property misappropriated by the defendant. If an individual is charged with intentionally stealing, embezzling, converting or hiding property belonging to another party, and they have been entrusted with the property valued at less than $250, if convicted they are subject to up to one year in state prison, or a maximum fine of $300. The embezzled property must not be a firearm.
If an individual is charged with intentionally stealing, embezzling, converting or hiding property belonging to another party, and they have been entrusted with the property valued at more than $250 or is a firearm, if convicted they are subject to up to five years in state prison, or a maximum fine of $25,000 and up to 2 ½ years in state prison.
Massachusetts law has special protections in place for senior citizens and people with disabilities who are victims of larceny by embezzlement. If convicted of larceny by embezzlement of under $250 against a person over the age of 60 or a person with a disability, the penalty may include:
If the embezzled property is valued over $250, the penalty may include:
Trade Secrets Embezzlement Charges
Larceny by embezzlement does not only apply to money or other financial assets. It is also a violation of the law to misappropriate trade secrets, which can mean stealing, converting, keeping secret, concealing or copying. Trade secrets cover a wide range of valuable information, including scientific discoveries, processes, designs, formulas, inventions and even productions and management techniques. The embezzled property doesn’t need to be something physical, and doesn’t need to have a concrete monetary value for the statute to be violated.
Examples of embezzlement of trade secrets include:
A larceny by embezzlement of trade secrets conviction can lead to a penalty of up to 2 ½ years in a state prison, or up to 2 years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.
If facing Larceny by Embezzlement charges, you are at risk of prison time and heavy fines. An experienced legal team can expertly argue your defense and fight for your rights. Protect your future and freedom by contacting us today for a free consultation.