The Nevada Crime of Embezzlement

Embezzlement is a type of theft and is addressed in the same section of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) as larceny and other theft crimes. However, embezzlement is unique in that the perpetrator of this crime is someone who is granted a legal right to possess funds or goods for a period of time for a particular purpose. The statute governing embezzlement defines the crime as:

“Any bailee of any money, goods or property, who converts it to his or her own use, with the intent to steal it or to defraud the owner or owners thereof and any agent, manager or clerk of any person, corporation, association or partnership, or any person with whom any money, property or effects have been deposited or entrusted, who uses or appropriates the money, property or effects or any part thereof in any manner or for any other purpose than that for which they were deposited or entrusted, is guilty of embezzlement…” (NRS 205.300 [1])

Examples of Embezzlement
A bailee is someone to whom funds, or goods are delivered for a purpose, without transfer of ownership. A manager of a retail store, may take the daily deposit to the bank at the end of the business day, and during the trip from the store to the bank, they are bailee of the deposit. If the store manager takes the deposit home and uses the cash for to pay personal bills or buy clothes for themselves, rather than deposit the funds to store’s account, then, if intent to steal or defraud the store owners can be proven, the manager can be found guilty of embezzlement.

A sales representative may be issued product samples by their employer to demonstrate product features to customers. If the sales rep fails to return the samples as directed by their employer, and instead uses the samples for personal use, or sells them and keeps the money, he or she may be charged with embezzlement.

A contractor who receives payment for goods or services and fails to pay suppliers and labor costs to those who supplied goods and labor to complete the job, may be charged with embezzlement.

If you rent or lease a vehicle and willfully and intentionally fail to return the vehicle to the agency that rented or leased it to you within 72 hours of the expiration of the rental or lease agreement, you may be charged with embezzlement.

Punishments for Embezzlement
If convicted of embezzlement the punishments are identical to the punishments for larceny.

If the total value of the funds or property embezzled is less than $650, it is considered a misdemeanor, with up to six months in jail, and a possible fine up to $1,000. Additionally, restitution is required as determined by the court.

If the total value of the funds or property is between $650 and $3,500, it is considered a Category C felony, with one to five-year sentence in Nevada State Prison, and possibly a fine up to $5,000. Additionally, restitution is required as determined by the court.

If the total value of the funds or property is over $3,500, it is considered a Category B felony, with one to 10-year sentence in Nevada State Prison, and possibly a fine up to $10,000. Additionally, restitution is required as determined by the court.

Additionally, under the embezzlement statutes, multiple acts of embezzlement against the same person or company within a six-month period must be combined. If the total value of all acts exceeds $650, it becomes a felony.

The Defenders will provide a strong defense if you are charged with embezzlement
An embezzlement conviction, even for a misdemeanor charge, appearing on your record will severely limit future employment opportunities and can wreck your life. A charge of embezzlement needs to be proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high standard for the prosecutor to achieve. Intent must be proven which is difficult to establish in some cases. The Defenders is well qualified to investigate all the facts of such a case and will pursue all legal avenues to provide a defense that will protect your rights. If you have been charged with embezzlement, call us today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

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