Under Utah law, embezzlement is a white-collar crime that results when someone takes property entrusted to them. Embezzlement occurs when:

  • Someone knowingly obtains, retains, or exercises control over something of value without the owner’s permission;
  • Intends to deprive the other person of the use of their property; and
  • Knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the property in a way that permanently deprives the owner’s use.

Additionally, motor vehicles, firearms, and livestock that are being raised for commercial purposes have special protections against embezzlement under Utah law.

Utah Embezzlement Attorney

The State of Utah imposes harsh penalties for those accused of embezzlement. This is why if you are facing serious allegations, it is imperative that you seek the help of a qualified defense lawyer who can defend you inside of the courtroom. Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law has thirty years of experience in criminal law that can be utilized for your case.

To receive legal representation, call (801) 243-2814 today. Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law accepts embezzlement cases in Salt Lake City, Midvale, Riverton, Taylorsville, Clearfield, Layton, Davis County, and the surrounding areas.

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Fiduciary Duty

A fiduciary duty means a person has a legal obligation to maintain that individual’s trust. For example, if the defendant hires an accountant to handle an individual’s money, there is a legal obligation to use the defendant’s money in their best interest.

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Embezzlement Classification

The classification of embezzlement depends on the cost of the property:

  • Class B Misdemeanor – if the value of the money or property is under $500, it is classified as a class B misdemeanor.
  • Class A Misdemeanor – if the value of the money or property is more than $500 but less than $1,500, the crime will be classified as a class A misdemeanor.
  • Third-Degree Felony – if the value of the money or property is more than $1,500 but less than $5,000, the crime will be classified as a third-degree felony.
  • Second-Degree Felony – if the value of the money or property is more than $5,000, it will result in a second-degree felony.

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What Are The Penalties For Embezzlement?

In Utah, embezzlement may result in the following penalties:

  • Class B Misdemeanor – up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Class A Misdemeanor – up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • Third-Degree Felony – up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Second-Degree felony – up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Additionally, the defendant may be required to pay restitution to the victim of their crimes. For example, if the victim incurred damage of $2,600, the defendant might be required to pay the court fines and pay the victim $2,600 in restitution.

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What Are The Defenses To Embezzlement?

There are a variety of defenses that may be available to a defendant who is being charged with embezzlement. Generally, embezzlement requires intent on the defendant’s part and some fiduciary duty. Potential defenses include:

  • Lack of intent
  • Permission from the victim to use the money or property how it was used
  • Lack of evidence

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Additional Resources

Utah’s Criminal Code – The website of the Utah State Legislature to learn more about offenses against property. Utah Criminal Code 76-6-412 provides the requirements for being charged with embezzlement.

HOA Embezzlement Case – This Fox 13 article provides information on a recent case where a Utah HOA Treasurer admitted to embezzling $150,000.

Fraud and Embezzlement – This article provides information on the number of crimes committed by governments each year.

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Utah Embezzlement Lawyer | Salt Lake County, UT

If you or someone you know has been arrested for embezzlement, your freedom and future are at risk. Therefore, it is urgent that you speak with a highly qualified Utah criminal defense lawyer. With 30 years of experience, criminal defense attorney Susanne Gustin at Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law is knowledgeable and can work hard to obtain the best possible outcome for your case.

We’re prepared to put that extensive experience to work for you. If you reside in Salt Lake County or Davis County, call Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814 for a consultation.

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