Southport, NC asked in Criminal Law for North Carolina

Q: how is larceny by employee different from embezzlement

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1 Lawyer Answer
Philip J. Clarke III
Philip J. Clarke III
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Morehead City, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: This is like a law school question, and just like in law school I don't know if there is a good answer to it. As applied in the employee situation I think the two charges could be interchangeable in many, if not all, situations, and cannot tell you a situation where I am sure they couldn't. Embezzlement can include persons in public office and fiduciaries, and employees, while Larceny by Employee includes only the employee situation. When the two offenses are applied to employees they are so similar as to include each other in their definitions. Larceny by Employee even includes Embezzlement as one of the ways it can be committed, Embezzlement does describe actions more geared toward hidden money transactions, and I would expect prosecutors would likely use Embezzlement for employees in those types of situations. It appears it would be easier to prove embezzlement when nothing had actually been removed yet. They both involve a trusted employee stealing in some form from his employer and they both are felonies with the same penalties for convictions. For offenses involving under $100,000 both are class H felonies and for offenses involving over $100,000 both are class C felonies. There may be more differences than I have set out here, but I don't think it worthy of further discussion since there is so much overlap, and the penalties are the same.

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