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Embezzlement in Texas and possible defenses

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Theft & Property Crimes, White-Collar Crimes |

Any crime accusation in a business setting can create a chain of adverse events for the accused. Even without a conviction, they may lose their job, potential future employers or clients and leave a bad mark on their professional record. Embezzlement is a charge that can lead to devastating criminal and professional consequences.

A crime of theft in Texas

Under Texas law governing crimes of theft, it is illegal to misuse, steal or conceal any portion of a company’s assets for personal financial gain. While the state does not use the actual term in its laws, this crime is commonly known as embezzlement.

Texas penalties for theft crimes like embezzlement are based on the amount or value of the money or property involved. The higher the value, the higher the penalty.

Arguments against embezzlement

In these charges, the prosecution must prove that the accused knowingly and willfully stole the money or property without the knowledge or consent of their employer. Possible defenses to fight against these allegations may lie in debunking their claims. Specifically, the defense may argue that:

  • The evidence is insufficient.
  • There is no intention to steal the funds or property.
  • The employer knew and permitted to use or borrow the funds or property for personal use.
  • The accused only made an accounting error and did not deliberately misuse the funds.
  • The employer ordered or pressured the accused to steal or misuse the funds.

If at least one of these defenses convinces the judge, they may decide to drop or lower the charges. However, it is good to note that these strategies are complex and will still depend on the specific details of each case.