What is the Law on "Misappropriation of funds" in Vermont and What are the Punishments for it?
Misappropriation of funds or embezzlement laws in Vermont falls under the criminalizing theft law. Embezzlement is usually considered a white-collar crime. However, it doesn’t only have to be a white-collar offense. There are many cases of embezzlement which involve elements of fraud.
Example – A bank teller is legally entrusted with funds from an account holder. If the bank teller takes the money instead of putting it into the person’s bank account, it is termed misappropriation of funds and is considered theft.
Embezzlement can happen in various situations. Large or small amounts of money may be involved. The above example is also an example of small scale embezzlement.
Law on Misappropriation of funds in Vermont and Penalties for violating it
Vermont is similar to other states in the United States in the way it judges misappropriation of funds cases. Vermont judges misappropriation of funds cases based on the value of money involved. The greater the amount of money misappropriated, the harsher the penalty. Let’s take a look at the law and penalties.
- $100 or less – If the value misappropriated isn’t more than $100, Vermont law states that the convicted can legally face up to a year in prison as well as a fine of up to $1,000. The convicted may receive one of the penalties or both together. A judge will judge each case on an individual basis.
- $100 or more – If the value misappropriated is in excess of $100, Vermont law states that the convicted can legally face up to ten years in prison as well as a fine of up to $10,000. The convicted may receive one of the penalties or both together. A judge will judge each case on an individual basis.
In addition to the above, the state of Vermont may choose to impose harsher penalties if the defendant held a position of power over the victim. An example of this is a government official carrying out embezzlement. This would raise the penalties to a fine of $1,000 as well as up to 10 years of prison time even if the value embezzled is under $100.
Statute of Limitations in Vermont
The state of Vermont mandates that people must be charged for embezzlement within 6 years of the crimes being committed. This is mandated by the state’s statute of limitations law. The maximum amount of time which is allowed to elapse before a person is brought to court for a crime is the statute of limitations. Time may begin at the time of the action or the time of discovery depending on the crime and its situation.
In some cases, Vermont may require a defendant to pay restitution to his/her victim(s). Restitution usually involves paying the victim for the monetary value of the money embezzled. In cases where restitution is applicable, the amount restituted is added on top of the fines applicable as well as prison time.
If you or anyone you know is charged with misappropriation of funds, the first thing you need to do is schedule appointments with lawyers who are qualified and have years of experience. Speaking to multiple lawyers is always a good option as multiple opinions are better than a single opinion. A lawyer with plenty of experience will increase your chances of fighting a wrong accusation. Misappropriation of funds is a serious accusation with tough consequences if it isn’t dealt with in the right way. Since each case is different, speaking to a qualified lawyer will inform you of the best course of action to take.
The law is subject to change and is accurate as per the date of writing of this article.