What is the Law on Misappropriation of Funds in Rhode Island and What are the Punishments for it?One type of offense which takes place in the state of Rhode Island is a misappropriation of funds. It is a white-collar crime, which comes with severe punishments. The state makes sure the penalties are significant, to deter people from committing this offense.
Misappropriation of funds – What does it mean?
The first thing that comes to your mind is – what is a misappropriation of funds?
The legal definition of this crime is as follows – it is the illicit use of funds of another party for personal
use. For breaching the trust placed by the owner in the individual, he/she can file misappropriation
of funds charges against the offender.
An example of this type of crime – a trustee of the trust is in charge of handling money for a specific cause. However, this individual chooses to take a portion of the funds and transfer it to his/her personal account. As this person didn’t receive authorization for his/her actions, it is a crime. The other members of the trust can charge this individual for misappropriation of trust.
Once it goes to the court, the prosecutors have to prove that the defendant is guilty of the crime. First, they will establish that the legal owners of the fund entrusted the accused of handling the amount for the trust. In other words, the defendant has the right to possess it, but not take complete ownership. Then, they will show the court that the defendant committed the crime knowingly. However, in certain cases, the prosecutors can bring to attention that the action of the accused was the primary reason for misappropriation of funds.
Every attorney will then show that the defendant was responsible for taking the money and using it for personal purposes. Although this takes place most of the time, it isn’t always the case. In certain situations, the court will accept the action as misappropriation of funds for transferring the amount to the defendant’s personal account. It doesn’t always matter whether the accused used the money for other purposes. Similarly, it doesn’t matter whether the defendant has plans to return the stolen funds in the future. The rightful owner of the amount can take the guilty party to court, regardless of the duration of the crime.
Punishment in Rhode Island for misappropriation of funds
When it comes to penalties regarding misappropriation of funds, the state of Rhode Island takes a hard stance. There are two categories of punishment which depend on the amount stolen from the rightful owner. For starters, if the guilty party takes not more than $100, then the fine for committing this crime is $1000. However, there is a chance that the offender will have to spend a maximum of one year in jail.
On the other hand, if the stolen amount is greater than $100, the fine increases substantially. The amount the offender has to pay for committing this crime can be three times the amount of $50,000 (whichever is greater). Also, the prison time goes up exponentially, as the guilty party may receive a maximum sentence of 20 years for this offense. Due to the severity of the punishment on the misappropriation of funds in Rhode Island, it is always better to seek professional help. Criminal lawyers who know the ins and outs of local courts and laws are the ones who will offer excellent assistance with respect to this offense. They will offer you sound advice, which will help deal with the situation, whether a third party is investigating or charging you for this crime. These individuals will always have your best interests in mind when it comes to misappropriation of funds.