Embezzlement Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Embezzlement, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Embezzlement?

n. the crime of stealing the funds or property of an employer, company or government or misappropriating money or assets held in trust.

History and Meaning of Embezzlement

Embezzlement is a type of financial fraud that has been around since ancient times. It is defined as the act of misappropriating money or property that has been entrusted to you by another person. In simpler terms, it is stealing money from a company, government, or another entity that has put you in charge of its finances.

Embezzlement is a serious crime and the penalties for it can vary greatly depending on the amount of money or property that was stolen. The term itself comes from the French word "embeseiller", which means to pledge or pawn.

Examples of Embezzlement

  1. A bank employee transfers money from customer accounts into their own personal account.
  2. A charity organization's treasurer takes the donations meant for a charitable cause and uses them for personal expenses.
  3. An investment advisor takes funds from clients without their knowledge or consent and uses them to invest in their own personal ventures.

Legal Terms Similar to Embezzlement

  1. Fraud - intentionally deceiving another person or entity for financial gain.
  2. Misappropriation - unlawfully taking possession or control of someone else's property or funds.
  3. Larceny - the act of stealing someone else's property or assets without their consent.
  4. Conversion - wrongfully taking or using someone else's property or money.