The State of Utah is cracking down on white-collar crime. In 2016, Utah became the first state in the U.S. to develop an online registry for white-collar crime. Similar to other types of crime registries, the registry includes recent photographs of criminals who were convicted of second-degree felonies that involved fraud in the last ten years in the state of Utah. Utah is not the first state that comes to mind when it comes to high levels of white-collar crime. However, the strong presence of ethnic and religious groups such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) have made citizens of Utah vulnerable to crimes such as affinity fraud.
If you have been charged with embezzlement in Utah, or if one of your family members was arrested for embezzlement in Salt Lake City, it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. For a free legal consultation with a Salt Lake City embezzlement defense attorney Darwin Overson, contact the law offices of Overson Law, PLLC right away at (801) 758-2287.
“Embezzlement” vs. Theft vs. Fraud in Utah
Embezzlement is defined as the theft and/or larceny of assets by a person who is entrusted to those assets. It occurs where the embezzler does have the right to possess the assets (money or property) but breaks the law by using them for unintended purposes. Four factors must be present in order for an individual to be convicted of embezzlement:
- A fiduciary relationship must exist between the parties. Thus, each party must have relied on the other for some benefit;
- The accused individual must have acquired the money, property and/or assets through the relationship;
- The accused must have taken ownership of the money, property, and/or assets and thereafter transferred them to someone else; and
- The accused person must have intended to deprive the owner of the use of his or her money, property, and/or assets.
Related Offenses: Theft, Fraud, Forgery and Receiving Stolen Property
- Theft – Theft is the act of taking and removing the property of another person with the intent to deprive the owner of that property permanently. There are several different types of theft including theft by deception, theft of services, and intellectual property theft.
- Fraud – Fraud is defined as the intentional misrepresentation of material fact made by one person to another who has knowledge of its falsity made with the intent to deceive that person.
- Forgery – Forgery is the creating or materially altering of a document or writing a false signature with the intent to deceive another.
- Receiving Stolen Property – An individual will be charged with theft by receipt of stolen property if he or she receives or retains the property of another with the knowledge or belief that it has been stolen. A person will also be charged with this crime if he or she sells, conceals, withholds or aids in such activity with the knowledge that the property is stolen and with the intent to deprive the owner of it.
The Sentencing Guidelines for Embezzlement Charges in Utah
Theft by embezzlement does have the potential to become a felony conviction in the state of Utah. Punishment for theft is based upon the monetary value of the assets or property that was stolen. The severity of the crimes are listed below:
- Assets/property valued at less than $500 – class B misdemeanor
- Assets/property valued between $500 and $1,499 – class A misdemeanor
- Assets/property valued between $1,500 and $4,999 – Third-degree felony
- Assets/property valued at $5,000 or more – Second-degree felony
If an individual is convicted of a class B misdemeanor, he or she can face a term of imprisonment of no more than six months and a fine of no more than $1,000. If an individual is convicted of a class A misdemeanor, he or she can face a term of imprisonment of no more than one year and a fine of no more than $2,500. Being convicted of a felony in the third-degree can result in imprisonment for a term of no more than five years and a fine not to exceed $5,000. A conviction of a felony in the second-degree can result in imprisonment of a term no more than fifteen years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
Our Salt Lake City Embezzlement Defense Attorneys Can Help
Criminal defense attorney Darwin Overson has over sixteen years of experience representing individuals charged with embezzlement in Salt Lake City and other areas of Utah including Bountiful, Cedar City, Draper, Kaysville, Layton, Lehi, Logan, Midvale, Millcreek, Murray, Ogden, Orem, Provo, Riverton, Roy, Sandy, South Jordan, St. George, Taylorsville, Tooele, West Jordan, West Valley City, and more.
To give yourself the best chance of beating embezzlement charges and to keep yourself from being placed on Utah’s white-collar crime registry, it is important that you seek legal representation immediately. For a free consultation regarding you or a loved one’s embezzlement charges, call Utah embezzlement lawyer Darwin Overson right away at (801) 758-2287.