Embezzlement Law Georgia
Embezzlement charges are also called property theft and come about if a person sets aside property or money for their personal profit when they are given the responsibility to handle the property or money of someone else or to handle the assets of a company. All states in the United States have their embezzlement laws in place to protect their citizens.
If the accused purposely takes some money for their personal benefits, it is regarded as stealing. To convict a person of embezzlement, the onus is on the prosecution to establish that the defendant had a status of trust and he could access the property or money although they did not have its legal ownership.
These kinds of offenses usually take place in the corporate world while certain white-collar professions enjoying high social status commit them. It is precisely the reason why embezzlement is also regarded as a kind of white-collar criminal offense.
According to Georgia embezzlement laws, embezzlement is a form of theft and is prohibited in the state. It refers to the stealing of property or money by an individual who has the responsibility or holds a position of trust over such assets. People enjoying a fiduciary relationship like accountants, bankers, legal guardians, employees, accountants, and others are in charge of handling and managing the money can appropriate it if they wish to do so.
Comparison between Embezzlement and Conversion
Embezzlement law Georgia does not use the term “embezzlement” and used the term “conversion” in its place. The latter is a more generic legal term, which is referred to as controlling or using someone else’s property in an unauthorized manner under common law. In comparison, embezzlement refers to the property, which was in the lawful possession of the embezzler and they took it for their personal use thereafter.
Embezzlement definition law in Georgia uses the term conversion and yet an element of this criminal offense is to take the property, which was initially received by the embezzler lawfully. As a result, the term ‘conversion” in the statute of Georgia basically refers to an act of embezzlement rather than the conversion defined in common law.
Elements of Embezzlement
According to Georgia's embezzlement laws, there should be certain elements present to prove the charge. In Georgia, an individual is said to commit an act of embezzlement when he/she:
- Legally procure the property or funds of another person including rented or leased property;
- Was under any kind of legal obligation including an agreement for the specific use or application of the property;
- Purposely converts the property or funds for their personal use and violates the agreement mentioned above.
Punishment for Embezzlement in Georgia
As far as embezzlement charges are concerned, the punishments may differ depending on the property type and value, which was stolen. According to Georgia law, the punishments for committing an act of embezzlement are the following:
- Anything whose value is over 500 USD could lead to a prison term between 1 and 10 years
- Anything whose value is equal to 500 USD or less than that can lead to a maximum fine of 1,000 USD and/or a prison term of one year
- Embezzling public property or money is a violation of fiduciary responsibility and could lead to a maximum fine of 100,000 USD and/or a prison term between 1 and 15 years.
- Transportation of cargo in vehicles for commercial purposes could lead to a maximum prison term of 10 years and/or a maximum fine of 50,000 USD.
- Embezzling parts of a motor vehicle with a valuation of 100 USD can lead to a prison term between 1 and 10 years. Subsequent offenses are penalized with a maximum prison term of 20 years.
- Embezzling commercial agriculture items in un-harvested form can result in at least a fine of 500 USD
- Embezzling explosives or firearms could result in a prison term between 1 and 10 years