Theft By Fraud
White Collar Crime
Embezzlement is a white collar crime, as it usually does not involve any form of violence. The most frequently charged embezzlement offenses involve employment relationships in which the employee embezzles funds or property from the employer. See: Distinguishing Embezzlement to Other Theft Crimes
Wisconsin Statutory Theft By Fraud Crime
Wisconsin's criminal code refers to embezzlement, but the
actual statute under which a person may be charged for an embezzlement
crime is theft by fraud, a theft crime.
Posession is a key element to the crime of embezzlement. The person from whom the property was stolen entrusted the person who stole the property with the property that was stolen. For that reason, embezzlement crimes often involve employer - employee relationships, such as bank tellers, cashiers, and the converted property is usually money.
Wisconsin statute 943.20(1)(d) provides that it is a crime for any person who obtains
title to property of another person by intentionally deceiving the person
with a false representation which is known to
be false, made with intent to defraud, and which
does defraud the person to whom it is made. "False
representation" includes a promise made with intent not to perform
it if it is a part of a false and fraudulent scheme.
"Property" means all forms of tangible property, whether real
or personal, without limitation including electricity, gas and documents
which represent a chose in action or other intangible rights. Intellectual property encompasses ideas, plans, inventions and proprietary information. Content on a website is property.
"Value" means the market value at the time of the theft or
the cost to the victim of replacing the property within a reasonable time
after the theft, whichever is less, but if the property stolen is a document
evidencing an intangible right, value means either
the market value of the chose in action or other right or the intrinsic
value of the document, whichever is greater. If the thief gave consideration
for, or had a legal interest in the stolen property, the amount of such
consideration or value of such interest shall be deducted from the total
value of the property.
Penalties: If the value of the property does not exceed $2,500, a person convicted of embezzlement (theft by fraud) is guilty
of a Class A misdemeanor. If the value of
the property exceeds $2,500 but does not exceed $5,000, then a convicted person is guilty of a
Class I felony. If the value of the property
exceeds $5,000 but does not exceed $10,000, the criminal charge increases to a Class
H felony. If the value of the property exceeds $10,000, then the convicted person is guilty
of a Class
Theft from a Financial Institute & Penalties
Wisconsin statue 943.81, Theft From A Financial Institute provides that
any person who knowingly uses, transfers, conceals, or takes possession
of money, funds, credits, securities, assets, or property owned by or
under the custody or control of a financial institution without authorization
from the financial institution and with intent to convert it to his or
her own use or to the use of any person other than the owner or financial
institution may be penalized as follows:
If the value of money, funds, credits, securities, assets, property,
proceeds from sale, or loan, collectively referred to as "the value"
does not exceed $500, a Class
A misdemeanor; if the value is over $500 and under $10,000, then a
Class H felony; if the value is over $10,000
and under $100,000, then a Class G felony, if
the value is over $100,000, then a Class
However, if the person has previously been convicted of a misdemeanor
or felony for theft, burglary, possession of burglary tools, unauthorized
release of animals, theft from a financial institution, or wire fraud,
then the crime charged is a Class I felony.
State or Federal Criminal Charge
Embezzlement can be charged as a state crime in violation
of Wisconsin statutory law, as a Federal crime in violation of Federal statutes,
or both. Because of the nature of the crime - usually involving commercial
transactions - it often falls under Federal jurisdiction as a violation
of Federal commerce laws, interstate commerce laws, antitrust and trade
laws, or securities and exchange laws. Even so, the state of Wisconsin prosecutes
many embezzlement crimes.
Individuals or Corporations May Be Held Criminally Liable
Individuals may be held criminally liable for the money
or property they steal from an employer under Wisconsin's embezzlement
and theft laws. As well, corporations can be held
criminally liable for embezzlement.
Mortgage fraud is theft of money from another with the intent to deprive that person of the money permanently. Mortgage fraud has recently undergone new legislative action at the federal level, hence more mortgage companies will be prosecuted for mortgage fraud crimes.
Bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud are all white collar crimes that fall under the same general provisions of other white collar crimes such as embezzlement. Those crimes involve the taking of money with the intent to deprive the owner of that money permanently.
However, it should well be noted that intent need not be proven. As well, there need not be an actual exchange of money.
Free Initial Consultation
If you are under investigation for embezzlement, theft by
fraud, or any white collar crime,
by contacting the attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood and placing your
case into their hands, you can rest reassured that you have done all you
can do to defend yourself against the charges. Van Wagner & Wood's
attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Please call (608-284-1200
or 1-866-262-4599 statewide) to arrange a confidential consultation.
You can also submit
your case online or email the attorneys.