Larceny by Embezzlement

The crime of larceny by embezzlement in Massachusetts is another theft crime prohibited under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 30. That statute makes it a crime to embezzle the property of another person with the intent to convert that property whether or not that property is in the thief's possession at the time of the conversion.

The Elements of the Crime of Embezzlement in Massachusetts

To prove you guilty of larceny by embezzlement in Massachusetts the prosecution must prove three things to a judge or a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

  1. That while in a position of trust of confidence you were entrusted with possession of personal property belonging to someone else;
  2. That you took that property, or that you hid that property or that you somehow converted it to your own use without the owner's consent to do so;
  3. That you did so with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of his property.
What if I was Only Borrowing the Property and Intended to Return it or Pay it Back Later?

In order for you to be found guilty of embezzlement it is not necessary that you personally benefited from the conversion of the property. Conversion requires the exercise of dominion or control over the personal property of another. The fact that you intended to repay the misappropriated personal property is not a defense to embezzlement. The offense requires only an adverse holding or use of someone's personal property. In essence, embezzlement in Massachusetts is the honest receipt of funds later fraudulently converted.

There is a Different Standard for Escrow Agents Who “Borrow” Money From Escrow Accounts

Massachusetts has a statute specifically designed for escrow agents who “borrow” money from escrow accounts. This statute, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 57 does not require proof beyond a reasonable of an intention to deprive the owner of the money or property permanently. Rather, simply appropriating the property for one’s own benefit, without the consent of the owner, regardless of ultimate intent suffices to establish criminal responsibility. This law protects people from unscrupulous builders and developers who “float” money from project to project.

Embezzlement in Massachusetts in just one of many theft crimes that falls under the umbrella of larceny. These cases are most often prosecuted in the district courts. An exception might be where the amount of property embezzled is excessive or where the embezzlement has been charge in connection with more serious crimes. There are many ways to resolve embezzlement cases and other theft crimes in Massachusetts. You can go to trial plea bargain or file motions that might result in a dismissal of the charges.

Successful Defense of Massachusetts Embezzlement Cases

It is important that you engage a lawyer to defendant you any time you have been charged with a crime. The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman is experienced in defending all types of theft crimes. If you have been charged with a larceny related crime or any crime in Massachusetts you should contact Attorney Stephen Neyman online now or call us at 617-263-6800.

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