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The penalties for embezzlement in Michigan

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2024 | Criminal Defense, White Collar Crimes |

Michigan law defines embezzlement as the theft or misappropriation of funds or property that has been entrusted to an individual by another person or a business. A store clerk who takes money out of a cash register and an executor who misappropriates estate assets could both be charged with embezzlement in Michigan. Depending on the amount of money or the value of the property involved, embezzlement can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Types of embezzlement in Michigan

Section 750 of the Michigan penal code addresses the following types of embezzlement:

  • Embezzlement by a public official
  • Embezzlement by an estate executor or guardian
  • Embezzlement by a mortgagor, vendee or lessee
  • Embezzlement of a mortgage, lease or contract by others
  • Bank, deposit company and credit union embezzlement
  • Embezzlement of co-owned property
  • Warehousing and cargo forwarding embezzlement
  • Falsifying academic records

Embezzlement penalties in Michigan

The penalties for committing the white-collar crime of embezzlement can be severe in Michigan if significant sums are involved. Embezzling $1,000 or less is a misdemeanor offense that carries a custodial sentence of up to one year, but individuals who embezzle $100,000 or more in the Wolverine State can be sent to prison for up to 20 years. Individuals convicted of embezzlement in Michigan can also be ordered to pay fines equal to three times the value of the property stolen.

Evidence of embezzlement

The prosecutors in embezzlement cases are often provided with compelling evidence by law enforcement. Paper trails and electronic transfer records may be difficult to overcome in court, which is why most individuals charged with white-collar crimes enter into plea agreements. Prosecutors know that taking even strong cases to court can be risky, so they are often willing to make generous charging or sentencing concessions in return for a guilty plea.