Embezzlement

Embezzlement is financial theft by an employee. The theft can be from the employer, clients, or third parties related to the alleged offender’s job. It can also include theft from charities or non-profit organizations. The crime of embezzlement falls under the law criminalizing theft. 

Usually, embezzlement is considered a white collar crime. Many instances of embezzlement also involve elements of fraud. The crime of embezzlement carries heavy penalties including fines and possible incarceration.

If you or someone you know has been charged with embezzlement, it is vital that you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney.

San Antonio Attorneys for Embezzlement in Texas

Are you currently under investigation for embezzling funds from your employer? If so, it is crucial that you act now. Contact a practiced attorney at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC. Hiring a skilled attorney can greatly increase the chances of having your case reduced or dismissed. 

Flanary Law Firm, PLLC is experienced in white collar crimes throughout the Bexar County area. We will work with you to create an effective and efficient defense. Gain a legal partner, not just an attorney with Flanary Law Firm, PLLC. 

The attorneys at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC defend those accused of embezzlement throughout the San Antonio area including Universal City, Live Oak, Windcrest, and Kirby.

Call us now at (210) 738-8383 to schedule a free consultation to start your criminal defense. 

Overview for Embezzlement Charges in Texas


Definition for Embezzlement in Texas

The Texas Penal Code does not have a specific statute dedicated to embezzlement. However, embezzlement and other crimes of this nature are consolidated among other theft offenses.

For a person to be convicted of embezzlement, the prosecution must prove certain elements. Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged offender appropriated something of value from the true owner without consent. This can be money, goods, or property.

Some common ways a person can commit embezzlement includes: 

  • Theft of funds from an employer;
  • Theft of services or goods from an employer;
  • Altering company books in some way to conceal income to the alleged offender’s employer; or
  • Transferring funds from a corporate account of the alleged offender’s employer to his or her personal bank account.

Penalties for Embezzlement in San Antonio, Texas

The penalties of embezzlement are dependent on the amount of money involved. If the value of the property embezzled is less than $100, the crime is a Class C misdemeanor. A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $500. 

The crime of embezzlement is a Class B misdemeanor if the alleged offender does any of the following: 

  • The property embezzled is $100 or more but less than $750;
  • The property embezzled is less than $100 and the alleged offender has a previous conviction for any grade of theft; or
  • The property embezzled is a driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, or personal identification certificate.

The penalty of a Class B misdemeanor is up to 180 days in jail, and a possible fine of up to $2,000.

The alleged offender will face a Class A misdemeanor if the embezzled property or money that is $750 or more but less than $2,500. The penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is up to 12 months in jail, and a possible fine of up to $4,000.

An embezzlement offense is a state jail felony if the alleged offender does any of the following: 

  • If the property embezzled is $2,500 or more but less than $3,000;
  • The property is less than 10 heads of sheep, swine, or goats or any part there of under the value of $30,000;
  • If the property is—regardless of value—stolen from the person of another or from a human corpse or grave;
  • If the property embezzled is a firearm;
  • If the value of the property embezzled is less than $2,500 and the alleged offender has been previously convicted twice or more of any grade of theft;
  • If the property embezzled is an official ballot or official carrier envelope for an election;
  • If the property embezzled is less than $20,000 and the property is aluminum, bronze, copper, or brass.

The legal consequences for a state jail felony includes up to 24 months in jail and a possible fine of up to $10,000. 

An embezzlement crime is a third degree felony if the alleged offender does any of the following: 

  • If the value of the property embezzled is $30,000 or more but less than $1500,00;
  • If the property is cattle, horses, or exotic livestock or fowl embezzled during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $150,000;
  • If the property is 10 or more head of sheep, swine, or goats embezzled during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $150,000.

The legal punishment for a third degree felony is up to five years in prison, and a possible fine of up to $10,000. 

Embezzlement is a second degree felony if the alleged offender does any of the following actions. 

  • If the property embezzled values at $150,000 or more but less than $300,00; or
  • If the property embezzled values less than $300,000 and the property embezzled is an automated teller machine or the contents or components of an automated teller machine.

A felony of the second degree is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000. 

If a person embezzles property valued at $300,000 or more, he or she will face a felony of the first degree. A first degree felony is punishable by up to 99 years or life imprisonment, and a possible fine of up to $10,000. 


Texas Aggravating Factors for Embezzlement Crimes

The crime of embezzlement can have enhanced penalties. The punishment is increased to the next higher category of offense if the alleged offender’s crime involved any of the following factors: 

  • The alleged offender was in a contractual relationship with the government at the time of the offense. The property embezzled must have come into the alleged offender’s custody by virtue of the contractual relationship;
  • The owner of the property appropriated was an elderly individual or a nonprofit organization;
  • The alleged offender was a public servant at the time of the offense. The property embezzled must have been by virtue of the alleged offender’s status as a public servant;
  • The alleged offender was a Medicare provider in a contractual relationship with the federal government at the time of the offense. The property embezzled must have come into custody of the alleged offender by virtue of the contractual relationship;
  • During the commission of the alleged offense, the alleged offenders intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause a fire exit alarm to sound. This also includes the activation or deactivation of a fire exit alarm or retail theft detector from sounding. 

Additional Resources

Texas Embezzlement Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code. Find more information regarding theft, petit theft, embezzlement, and other types of larceny. Learn the charge specifics, penalties, and admissible defenses in court.

Charities and Nonprofit Enforcement – Visit the official website for Ken Paxton, the Attorney General for Texas. Find more information regarding issues with nonprofits the Attorney General investigates, what they do not investigate, and access to an online complaint form for charities and nonprofits.


San Antonio Lawyers for Embezzlement in Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with embezzlement, it is in your best interest to obtain trusted legal representation. A skilled attorney can file motions, suppress evidence, and use various techniques to try and reduce or dismiss your case.

Flanary Law Firm, PLLC is a group of determined attorneys with a strong focus in criminal defense. When it comes to your future, do not hesitate. The attorneys at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC are experienced and knowledgably about theft laws in Texas. Find an attorney who fits you. 

The attorneys at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC defend those accused in Bexar County area including Kendall County, Medina County, Guadalupe County, and Gonzales County.

Call us now at (210) 738-8383 or simply submit an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.


This article was last updated on September 27, 2018.

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