Embezzlement is a crime, but it is also a blow to a company because the act involves diminishing its resources. When an employer discovers embezzlement, sometimes they try to work with the individual suspected of misappropriating company assets or resources. Other times, the company hands over its financial records to law enforcement agencies.
The individual accused of embezzlement will face serious criminal consequences depending on the total value of the amount allegedly taken from the company. Technically, embezzlement in Minnesota only stems from misuse of state funds, so those accused of embezzlement by a private-sector employer could face theft charges.
Many times, those accused of embezzlement face jail time, court costs, fines and an obligation to repay their former employer. Can someone facing embezzlement charges settle the issue outside of court?
The victims of crimes usually don’t hold sway over prosecutors
In theory, someone accused of embezzlement by their employer could negotiate some kind of settlement that remains private. However, this will have to take place before the company brings investigators or prosecutors into the situation.
When state authorities know about criminal activity, they will likely continue to prosecute someone even if the victim no longer wants them to. There is a degree of separation between the prosecution and a victim’s preference for a reason. It helps protect people from intimidation by those accused of crimes because a victim can’t realistically convince a prosecutor to drop charges against someone that hurt them.
Once the prosecutor takes over, the most a business that accuses someone of embezzlement can do to help their former employee would be to offer to testify about their willingness to make things right. However, that likely won’t be enough to avoid a conviction if the prosecutor already has black and white evidence of financial misconduct.
Those accused of white collar-crimes may want to avoid going to trial
A professional accused of embezzlement, just like anyone else accused of a white-collar criminal offense, may want to avoid the embarrassment and notoriety that comes from a public trial. Some people may be in a position to negotiate a favorable plea bargain, while others could potentially defend themselves against the allegations brought by an employer.
Only a careful review of evidence and your situation can determine what options you may have for protecting yourself when accused of misappropriating company resources.