What Is the Law on Misappropriation of Funds in Maryland and What Are the Punishments for It?
Misappropriation of Funds is a form of theft. You are guilty of misappropriating somebody’s funds if you use their funds without their consent to further your agenda. Misappropriation of Funds can be carried out by a public official, a trustee of a fund and so on. It is considered a Misdemeanor or Felony depending on the severity of theft. Any prosecutor wishing to prosecute an individual for “Misappropriation of Funds” must first prove the following grounds in court –
- Intent – A person may be held legally guilty of misappropriating funds without actually spending or investing the misappropriated funds. As long as he/she does so much as transfer the funds from its rightful place to their personal account, they may be convicted on charges of “Misappropriation of Funds”.
- Lack of Ownership – The prosecutor needs to prove that the funds in the discussion did not belong to the person being charged with “Misappropriation of Funds” even though they may have obtained control over it somehow.
- Action – If a person is to be rightfully charged with “Misappropriation of Funds”, they need to have taken actions supporting their theft. As mentioned above, they don’t need to spend the money misappropriated for the court to prove that there has been embezzlement. Even an action as minor as transferring the thieved money from the owner’s account to their’s is enough evidence for the court to find the individual guilty.
Even if the offender returns the funds misappropriated, they are still guilty of the crime of misappropriation. Misappropriation, no matter for how short a period of time, is still misappropriation.
Laws and Punishments for Misappropriation of Funds in the U.S.
Misappropriation of Funds is generally charged as a Misdemeanor or Felony. The charge and punishment depend on the value of the funds stolen. U.S. State and Federal laws differ when it comes to how “Misappropriation of Funds” is perceived. Some kinds of misdemeanors, such as federal embezzlement, are observed as felonies in certain states. Misdemeanor is a lighter charge for which jail time doesn’t exceed a year. Felony, however, is treated as a serious crime and punishable with a jail sentence of 10 years or more. Other than jail time, misappropriation of funds can be penalized with a fine, probation or restitution. Probation may or may not be applicable for your state. Restitution to be paid is an additional fee that the convict has to pay besides the fines slapped on him/her for their offense.
Laws in Maryland Pertaining to Embezzlement
Maryland Legal Code Statute 7-113 contains the law against misappropriation of funds. It is part of the section for theft and related crimes. Maryland penalizes misappropriation of funds with a misdemeanor charge which is punishable with up to 5 years in jail. Maryland legal system also directs the guilty party to pay restitution for the funds embezzled along with imposing a fine ranging between $50-$100.
If you or anyone you know has been charged with “Misappropriation of Funds”, you should waste no time in seeking the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. “Misappropriation of funds” is a serious charge and can hamper your employability among other things even if you are proven not guilty.
You can get off without a court indictment if the prosecutor fails to prove intent, conversion or lack of ownership. As already discussed, “Misappropriation of Funds” cannot be proven without having the accused proven guilty on these grounds. Better still, try not to embezzle another person’s money and you shall be safe!