Arrests for thefts from employers
Our attorneys have defended many individuals arrested for allegedly stealing from their employers. Many of them were responsible for their employers’ payrolls and were accused of writing fraudulent or fictitious checks. Others were accused of concealing personal purchases or transfers of money using company bank accounts or corporate credit cards.
When confronted by an employer in this situation, individuals should understand that anything they say to their employers can be used by law enforcement against them in later criminal prosecutions. Many people accused of stealing from their employers face a unique dilemma. Sometimes, an individual in this situation may be able to avoid having his or her employer report him or her to the police by repaying the allegedly stolen money. Of course, returning stolen money (or agreeing to do so) conversely also tends to prove that the money was, in fact, stolen. Thus, an offer to repay the money may help avoid a suspected embezzler avoid arrest, but if it fails to persuade the employer not to complain to the police, that offer to repay the money will make it very difficult to avoid a criminal conviction at trial. Thus, offering to repay the money is a risky move for a person in this situation, and can backfire. Sadly, some people agree to repay money that they didn't even steal, or agree to repay more than they actually took, and then get arrested and find themselves in very difficult and unfortunate situations.
We have helped many individuals avoid arrest by carefully negotiating with employers that suspected their employees of stealing company money. We have also helped many individuals arrested for embezzling funds from their employer avoid prison sentences, typically through restitution agreements negotiated with the prosecutor. We find that employers typically want their money back more than they want to see their former employers imprisoned, but that is not always the case.
Theft of more than $1000.00 is a Class E felony in New York state (Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, Penal Law 155.30), and theft of more than $3000.00 is a Class D felony (Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Penal Law 155.35). It is a Class C felony to steal more than $50,000.00 (Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Penal Law 155.40), and a Class B felony to steal more than $1,000,000.00 (Grand Larceny in the First Degree, Penal Law 155.42). It is also a felony to write forged or fraudulent checks (Forgery in the Second Degree, Penal Law 170.10) or to use credit cards without authorization (Identity Theft in the Third, Second and First Degrees, Penal Law Sections 190.78, 190.79, and 190.80). There are also sometimes charges of Falsifying business records in the Second and First Degrees, a misdemeanor and felony, respectively, under Penal Law 175.05 and 175.10. These charges apply to individuals that make fake entries into accounting or financial records to conceal their theft or fraud.
If you or a loved one have been accused of stealing or embezzling money from an employer, you should consider contacting the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Galluzzo & Arnone LLP. Their team of former Manhattan prosecutors will work hard on your behalf to get you the best result possible under the circumstances.