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Embezzlement Lawyers Oklahoma

When it comes to white collar crime, many do not understand the seriousness of the charges involved when a suspect is arrested and indicted for such an offense. Not to mention, most also incorrectly think that even if they are convicted of a white collar crime, he or she will be able to serve any prison sentence in a ‘country club’ setting. Nothing could be further from the truth. White collar crime convictions ruin lives, and one of the most common charges within this realm of law is that of embezzlement. Embezzlement has become quite prevalent in recent years as a result of the nation-wide crackdown on corporations and businesses of all types in response to the scandals that were attached to such companies as Enron and Tyco, among others. That means that if you are in a position where you handle corporate money, you need to be extremely careful to stay within the new limits that laws generally allow.

If you or someone you love has been arrested and/or charged with embezzlement in Oklahoma or anywhere else, you need to take immediate steps to protect your Constitutional rights. Contact Privett Law immediately to schedule an initial consultation and to get the process of building your defense started.

Oklahoma Embezzlement Defined

Chapter 59, section 1451 defines embezlement in Oklahoma as follows: A. Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property of any person or legal entity, legally obtained, to any use or purpose not intended or authorized by its owner, or the secretion of the property with the fraudulent intent to appropriate it to such use or purpose, under any of the following circumstances:

  1. Where the property was obtained by being entrusted to that person for a specific purpose, use, or disposition and shall include, but not be limited to, any funds "held in trust" for any purpose;
  2. Where the property was obtained by virtue of a power of attorney being granted for the sale or transfer of the property;
  3. Where the property is possessed or controlled for the use of another person;
  4. Where the property is to be used for a public or benevolent purpose;
  5. Where any person diverts any money appropriated by law from the purpose and object of the appropriation;
  6. Where any person fails or refuses to pay over to the state, or appropriate authority, any tax or other monies collected in accordance with state law, and who appropriates the tax or monies to the use of that person, or to the use of any other person not entitled to the tax or monies;
  7. Where the property is possessed for the purpose of transportation, without regard to whether packages containing the property have been broken;
  8. Where any person removes crops from any leased or rented premises with the intent to deprive the owner or landlord interested in the land of any of the rent due from that land, or who fraudulently appropriates the rent to that person or any other person; or
  9. Where the property is possessed or controlled by virtue of a lease or rental agreement, and the property is willfully or intentionally not returned within ten (10) days after the expiration of the agreement.

Embezzlement does not require a distinct act of taking, but only a fraudulent appropriation, conversion or use of property. Embezzlement is a charge that can result even if the defendant is not directly involved with any transfer of funds or misappropriation. A degree of involvement is all that’s required.

Punishment for Embezzlement in Oklahoma

If a defendant is convicted of embezzlement in Oklahoma, he or she faces the following sanctions, according to the same statute:
B. Except as provided in subsection C of this section, embezzlement shall be punished as follows:

  1. If the value of the property embezzled is less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), any person convicted shall be punished by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not more than one (1) year, or by both such fine and imprisonment;
  2. If the value of the property embezzled is Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or more but less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), any person convicted shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year or by imprisonment in the county jail for one or more nights or weekends pursuant to Section 991a-2 of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes, at the discretion of the court, and shall be subject to a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), and ordered to pay restitution to the victim as provided in Section 991f of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes;
  3. If the value of the property embezzled is One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or more but less than Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00), any person convicted shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for a term of not more than five (5) years, and a fine of not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), and ordered to pay restitution to the victim as provided in Section 991f of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes; or
  4. If the value of the property embezzled is Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) or more, any person convicted shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for a term of not more than ten (10) years, and a fine not exceeding Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), and ordered to pay restitution to the victim as provided in Section 991f of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

As you see, the type of punishment faced depends on the value of the property taken, and that valuation can be a subjective process in certain situations, meaning that it could be proven that you embezzled property worth a higher amount than you intended, thereby exposing you to longer sentences.

Oklahoma Defense - Embezzlement

If you are facing an embezzlement charge, you face significant fines and prison time. Don’t simply allow this process to unfold. Contact Privett Law today to schedule an initial consultation.