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Elements used to prove embezzlement

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Blog, White Collar Crimes |

Embezzlement in Michigan is the fraudulent appropriation of funds or property by an individual in a position of trust. To prove embezzlement, certain elements need to be established.

Relationship between the accused and victim

A key element in proving embezzlement is a relationship between the accused and the victim, such as trust or confidence. The accused must have been in a position of trust with the victim and used that relationship to misappropriate funds or property. They must have had access to the funds or property and, subsequently, taken it for their use.

Proof of misappropriation

This could be evidenced by documents showing large withdrawals of money from an account, transfers between accounts, or evidence that the accused purchased items with the victim’s money. It is also essential to show that the accused intended to defraud or deceive the victim when they took the funds or property.

Fraudulent intent

The intent to defraud is important to prove that the accused acted with malicious or fraudulent purposes in taking the funds or property. This could be evidenced by hiding financial transactions, falsifying documents, and making false statements. It is also important to demonstrate a pattern of behavior that shows that the accused was intentionally misappropriating funds or property from the victim.

Intentions to restore

In some cases, the accused may be able to prove that they had intentions of restoring the funds or property at some point in the future. This could be evidenced by any relevant documents or statements made by the accused.

Final burden of proof

Ultimately, it is up to the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that all elements of embezzlement were present. With embezzlement being a white-collar crime, the burden of proof can be difficult to meet. They must prove that the accused was in a position of trust with the victim, misappropriated funds or property with fraudulent intent, and had no intentions to return the money or property. If any of these elements are not proven, it may be difficult for the prosecution to secure a conviction.

The nature of the evidence used can also be essential. It should be reliable and admissible in court, as a jury may not consider any evidence deemed unsubstantiated or circumstantial. The prosecution will need to prove all elements of embezzlement based on solid facts and testimony from witnesses or other sources.