What Is the Law on Misappropriation of Funds in Arizona and What Are the Punishments for It?
Misappropriation is a term that intends to describe the act of fraudulently making use of another’s likeness or property. Such use is unauthorized and should have been committed with criminal intent.
We often see the misappropriation of funds taking place in business settings. Misappropriation of Funds is an illegal act that involves the theft of monetary property from an individual who has left the said property in the care of the wrong-doer. The important element in the case of Misappropriation of Funds is that of knowledge of both parties. The person who owns the property must have left it in the care of another knowingly and with good faith, and the other person should have fraudulently stolen this property for their own benefit, for the act to constitute Misappropriation of Funds.
Examples of Misappropriation of Funds include – committing credit card fraud, falsifying invoices, a trustee making personal use of the trust funds, falsely using one’s property for the purposes of conversion for monetary gain and so on.
Misappropriation of Funds in Arizona
In the State of Arizona, the Act of Misappropriation of Funds is called embezzlement. Embezzlement is a white-collar crime that runs rampant in business settings. Embezzlement means the theft of any kind of property. Property here refers to any valuable material that is in the possession of a person. In the crime of embezzlement, the embezzler should have partial or full legal access or ownership of the victim’s property.
In the state of Arizona, the penalties for the crime of embezzlement are stated below –
- If a person embezzles USD 25,000 or more, they have committed a Class 2 Felony of embezzlement. The person can be convicted with a prison sentence that can range between 4 to 12.5 years. The convicted person may also have to pay a maximum fine of USD 1000 and surcharges.
- If the person embezzles an amount between USD 4000 and USD 25,000, they are charged with a Class 3 Felony. In this case, the person will have to serve a prison sentence that ranges between a minimum of 2.5 years to a maximum of 8.75 years. The minimum fine that would have to be paid for this crime is USD 1000 plus surcharges.
- If the person has embezzled over USD 3000 but less than USD 4000, they have committed a Class 4 Felony. Additionally, this may even include theft of a vehicle engine or transmission, regardless of the value. In such cases, the person will have to serve a prison anywhere between a minimum of 18 months and a maximum of 3.75 years. This may include a minimum fine of USD 1000 plus surcharges.
- If the person has embezzled an amount between USD 2000 and USD 3000, they have committed a Class 5 Felony. This crime of embezzlement is punishable with a prison sentence that can range anywhere between 9 months and 1.5 years. The convicted person will also have to pay a minimum fine of USD 1000 plus surcharges.
- If the person embezzles an amount that is over USD 1000 but falls less than USD 2500, they are guilty of embezzlement and a Class 6 felony. Other crimes included under a Class 6 Felony are theft of a firearm or theft of an animal for the purposes of animal fighting. The person will be punishable by a minimum sentence of 6 months and a maximum sentence of 1 year. Additionally, the person will have to pay a minimum fine of USD 1000.
- Lastly, if a person embezzles an amount less than USD 1000, they can be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor. The person will have to serve a maximum prison sentence of 6 months and will be on probation for 3 years. Additionally, they will have to pay a maximum fine of USD 2500 plus surcharges.