Embezzlement in Oklahoma is a type of property theft, one that deals with violating trust, as in you were trusted not to steal.
Embezzlement is defined as the illegal taking of money or other property by someone who had a responsibility to handle the money or property, but had no legal right to take the money or property for themselves and their own personal gain.
Contrary to popular belief, embezzlement is not limited to workplaces. It can be a family member who’s supposed to handle finances for an elderly or sick family member, then the person is found to have taken the money for themselves.
The severity of the crime and the possible penalties for an embezzlement conviction vary depending on how much money or the value of the property taken.
What are the laws on embezzlement in Oklahoma?
Here’s how Oklahoma punishes embezzlement crimes:
- Property valued $500 or less: if convicted, the defendant could get up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison.
- Property valued between $500 and $1,000: if convicted, the defendant could get up to $5,000 in fines, one year in jail, as well as being forced to pay restitution. Restitution is compensation paid to the victims of crimes.
- Property valued between $1,000 and $25,000: If convicted, you could get up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, and he or she could be forced to pay restitution.
- Property worth more than $25,000: This conviction will result in the harshest penalties. He or she could get up to 10 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and restitution.
Is there a statute of limitations on embezzlement charges in Oklahoma?
There are two different statutes of limitations when it comes to embezzlement charges in Oklahoma:
- Embezzlement cases involving theft of public property or public money (i.e. stealing from a government agency) have a statute of limitations of seven years. That means prosecutors have seven years from the time the alleged theft occurred to press charges.
- Embezzlement cases involving private money or private property have a statute of limitations of five years. That means prosecutors have five years from the date of the alleged theft to press charges.
As you can see, embezzlement is as serious as it sounds, with the potential for big fines and time behind bars. If you or someone you love is accused of embezzlement, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Jacqui Ford’s office today.