What is the Law on Misappropriation of Funds in Ohio and What are the Punishments for it?
Misappropriation is the act of misusing another person’s likeness or property, without authorization, for one’s personal benefit. Misappropriation of funds basically means the unauthorized and illegal use of another person’s property for personal gain. In this context, property implies any such valuable thing that is under a person’s possession.
Theft and misappropriation of funds are often confused to be the same. The two acts bear a certain similarity with regards to the aspect of stealing, but the circumstances differ. Theft is when a person steals another’s property from their possession. On the other hand, when a person steals a certain sum of money that was handed over to them, for caretaking or other purposes, and does so without authorization, it amounts to misappropriation of funds. This property would need to have been legally handed over to the other person, either partially or wholly, for any purpose.
The basic element that underlines the crime of misappropriation of funds is trust. While a thief does not have the possession of the property before he steals from the person, misappropriation of funds requires the owner to first transfer said property before he loses it. This element of trust makes the crime of misappropriation all the more deceiving. The person who commits the crime does so with a malicious intent of removing the possession of the property from its owner and using the same for their individual benefit.
Examples of misappropriation of funds include – bank employee misusing customer’s invested money, trustee stealing from a trust fund for personal gain, an employee stealing from an employer, credit card fraud and so on.
Misappropriation of Funds in Ohio
In the state of Ohio, the crime of misappropriation of funds is called embezzlement. Embezzlement is the act of stealing a person’s property when they have entrusted the same to you. Embezzlement typically occurs during the course of employment. During the course of business, as finances are constantly discussed and transferred, embezzlement runs rampant. The state of Ohio views embezzlement as a very serious offense and awards stringent punishment for those found guilty.
Here is the list of penalties for the crime of embezzlement:
- If the person is found guilty of stealing any property, the value of which exceeds $1000, they will be charged with a prison term of 180 days. The penalty can also include a fine of $1000 towards the charges.
- If the person is found guilty of stealing any property, the value of which falls between $1000 and $7,500, the person is liable to face a prison term of one year. They will also have to pay a fine of $2000.
- If the person is found guilty of stealing any property, the value of which exceeds $7,500 but falls short of $150,000, the person will have to face up to 18 months in prison. They will also have to pay a fine of $5000 towards the charges.
- If the person is found guilty of stealing any property, the value of which exceeds $150,000 but is less than $750,000, the person can be charged with a prison term of 36 months. They will also have to pay up to $10,000 as a fine.
- If the value of the stolen property exceeds the amount of $750,000 but is less than $1,500,000, the person will have to face a prison sentence of eight years. They will also have to pay a fine of $15,000.
- If the person is found guilty of stealing any property, the value of which exceeds $1,500,000, the person will face a prison term of up to 11 years. Additionally, they will have to pay a fine of $20,000 towards the charges.