Ten Indicted for $23 Million Chicago Bank Embezzlement
In Illinois, you can face some stiff charges if accused of embezzlement. One of the most common forms of white-collar crime, embezzlement often makes headlines when it happens.
A great example is the recent indictment of several defendants who are alleged to have participated in embezzlement at a Chicago bank. These defendants, one of whom was the bank’s former Vice President, were accused of embezzling over $23 million. While an indictment is not a guilty verdict, it does point to some serious crimes that may have been perpetrated.
What is embezzlement, and what happens if you’re charged and found guilty in Illinois? Read on to find out.
White-Collar Crime: What Is It?
The FBI defines white-collar crime as crime committed for financial gain. Common elements are violation of trust, deceit, or concealment. White collar criminals are generally motivated by the desire to gain or retain money, services, or property. Likewise, the motive could be securing an unethical upper hand in business or personal matters.
Some of the most common white-collar crimes include fraud, money laundering – and embezzlement.
What Is Embezzlement?
Illinois law defines embezzlement as a type of property theft. It can be charged as a state or federal crime, but it depends on the facts of the case.
The state charges embezzlement under theft statutes. It’s committed when a person exerts or obtains authority over property that is not authorized, and they intend to permanently deprive the owner of the benefit or use of that property. Embezzlement often occurs in concealed deception.
What makes embezzlement different from theft is access to the property. In embezzlement cases, defendants do have legal access to the property, but they do not own it. Instead, they fraudulently appropriate property with which they’ve been entrusted.
It’s a very serious charge. When confronted with embezzlement charges, it’s in your best interest to secure a lawyer as quickly as possible.
The Penalties for Embezzlement in Illinois
The penalties in Illinois are based on the value of the property that was embezzled. It should be noted that penalties are enhanced if the embezzlement involved a place of worship, school, or government property.
Value Less Than $500
This is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in prison and fines of $2,500.
Between $500 and $1000
A Class 3 felony, the punishment for this level risks five years behind bars and fines in the amount of $25,000.
$10,000 to $100,000
A Class 2 felony, this is punishable by up to seven years in prison and fines for $25,000.
$100,000 to $500,000
As a Class 1 felony, anyone convicted for this level of embezzlement can be sentenced to 15 years behind bars and fined $25,000.
$500,000 to $1 Million
A Class 1 felony that isn’t eligible for probation, you can face up to 15 years in prison and be responsible for fines as high as $25,000.
More Than $1 Million
This is a Class X felony, which is grave in Illinois. You may be sentenced to 30 years in prison and be required to pay fines of $25,000.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.