North Carolina General Statute 14-74 establishes, through rather arcane language, the crime of Embezzlement. Skipping the arcane language, to support a conviction for that particular type of embezzlement, a prosecutor must prove the defendant:
- Was an employee and
- Willfully took a thing of value or
- Embezzles or converts to his or her own use a thing of value
3. Which thing was entrusted to the employee
4. With the intent to steal it and defraud the employer
Under NC law, this type of embezzlement is a Class H felony if the value of the wrongfully taken money or item is less than $100,000.00. A Class H felony is relatively low on the spectrum of of felonies, and an individual with no criminal history or limited history can expect that they will likely receive a probationary sentence. If the value exceeds $100,000.00 the crime would likely be charged as a serious, Class C, felony.
If the item is not one that was entrusted to an employee as part of their job, the criminal charge would more appropriately be a larceny rather than embezzlement. However, "Larceny by Employee" is essentially similar and invokes the same punishment. It is also a Class H felony. Really, the only difference is that Larceny by Employee is easier to prove because it requires proof of one less element- that the property taken was "entrusted" to the employee.
There are other types of embezzlement under NC law, involving government employees and employees in other institutional settings. Generally, they are considered more serious, Class F, felonies, though at the $100,000.00 threshhold they are treated the same as other embezzlement charges.
Wake County criminal defense lawyer Sean Cecil has experience defending embezzlement charges, and provides free telephonic consultations on all criminal charges.