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Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
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Embezzlement in Oklahoma

Most individuals severely underestimate the lifelong impact an Oklahoma conviction for embezzlement or any other white collar crime can carry, which is why it is crucial to retain an embezzlement attorney. Part of the misconception stems from the idea that white collar criminals will be charged with federal crimes and get to serve their sentence in the comfy confines of a federal prison. No prison setting is comfortable; moreover, one must also account for the heavy fines and restitution payments that usually accompany a conviction for Embezzlement. Furthermore, federal crimes are often prosecuted with the backing of investigation by specialized government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

However, embezzlement can also be prosecuted at the state court level. Furthermore, Oklahoma prosecutions for embezzlement and other related white collar crimes have been on the rise in recent years due to the nation-wide fallout that followed scandals associated with companies such as Enron.

What is Embezzlement?

“Embezzlement” in Oklahoma is defined as follows:

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 (see here for information on fraud in Oklahoma) to appropriate it to such use or purpose, under any of the following circumstances:

Oklahoma Embezzlement Definition:

  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. In this sense, a person can find themselves charged with criminal liability for embezzlement in Oklahoma even if they haven’t “stuck their hands in the company cash register.”

Embezzlement Punishments

A conviction for embezzlement in Oklahoma is 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 custody of the Department of Corrections 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 custody of the Department of Corrections 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.

If you or a loved one has been charged with embezzlement in Oklahoma, time is of the essence. You need an Oklahoma embezzlement attorney, and you need one right now. Call the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C., and retain an accomplished attorney ready to fight for your rights. Call us today at (405) 778-4800 for a free consultation.

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