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What do you know about embezzlement? - II

Last time, our blog discussed how the area of white collar crime is by no means the exclusive domain of the federal government, as law enforcement officials here in Illinois routinely handle the investigation and prosecution of all types of financial crimes.

By way of example, we started exploring how the state views the crime of embezzlement, which is generally defined as occurring whenever a person entrusted with the care or management of money/property owned by another takes some or all of it for themselves.

We'll continue this discussion in today's post by examining how Illinois punishes those convicted of embezzlement.

What can a person convicted of embezzlement in our state court system anticipate in terms of punishment?

The punishment handed down for a conviction on embezzlement charges will depend upon the value of the property or the amount of money taken by the person in the special position of trust.

Specifically, state law calls for the following punishments to be meted out if the property/money is worth the following:

  • $500 or less: A Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of incarceration and/or a fine of up to $2,500
  • Over $500 but less than $10,000: A Class 3 felony punishable by two to five years of incarceration and/or a fine of up to $25,000
  • Over $10,000 but less than $100,000: A Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years of incarceration and/or a fine of up to $25,000
  • Over $100,000 but less than $500,000: A Class 1 felony punishable by six to 30 years of incarceration and/or a fine of up to $25,000
  • Over $500,000 but less than $1M: A Class 1 non-probationable felony punishable by four to 15 years of incarceration and/or a fine of up to $25,000
  • Over $1M: A Class X felony punishable by six to 30 years of incarceration and/or a fine of up to $25,000

Are there any aggravating factors that can serve to increase some of these already harsh sentences for embezzlement?

Under certain circumstances, the law in Illinois does call for enhanced penalties for those convicted of embezzlement. Indeed, those found to have taken money or property without consent from adults 60 and over, places of worship, schools and the government can face more severe consequences.  

What all of this makes clear is that anyone who is either under investigation or has already been charged with embezzlement -- at either the state or federal level -- must consider speaking with an skilled legal professional as soon as possible.

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Darryl A. Goldberg
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Chicago, IL 60602

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