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Embezzlement & False Pretenses

Are You Being Investigated or Charged With Embezzlement, False Pretenses, or Any Other Theft Crime or Crime Involving Dishonesty?

There are several crimes in the Michigan Penal Code that involve theft or dishonesty, including:

  • Embezzlement
  • False Pretenses
  • Larceny
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Retail Fraud
  • Larceny in a Building (felony)
  • Receiving & Concealing Stolen Property
  • Uttering & Publishing (felony)

Each of the above criminal offenses share the component of dishonesty and can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. In Michigan, a misdemeanor is defined as an offense that can be punished by imprisonment of 1 year or less. A felony can be punished by more than 1 year imprisonment, up to life. In general, getting charged with a misdemeanor or felony for economic crimes will depend upon the amount of money or property stolen or misappropriated. However, crimes such as larceny in a building and uttering and publishing are always charged as a felony regardless of the amount involved. Retail fraud is consistently one of the most prevalent economic property crimes in Michigan and may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the amount of property taken and the prior criminal history of the offender.

Do not hesitate to contact ABDO LAW if you are being accused of a crime that involves theft or damage to property and are faced with any of these circumstances:

  • A criminal investigation or are being asked to make a statement to the police.
  • You have received a notice in the mail stating that there is a warrant for your arrest.
  • You have been recently released on bond after being arrested and charged with a felony or misdemeanor.
  • You have received a notice of an arraignment. Getting a lawyer for an arraignment can mean the difference between getting out of jail on a personal promise versus having a bond set in the amount of $100,000 or more!

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT pursuant to the 5th Amendment. CONTACT A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY if you are contacted by the police for an interview. Talking to the police without understanding your rights can have devastating consequences. At the conclusion of an interview with the police, you may be asked to take a polygraph which is something that is out of your control. Depending upon the circumstances of each case, we may or may not consent to a police interview.

Stop being afraid and contact the best Macomb County criminal defense lawyers for a solid plan to get you out of the system.

Free CONFIDENTIAL Consultation & Same Day Appointment. Contact ABDO LAW: 586-412-5555, Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo.

We have specialized in criminal law longer than most law firms in Metro Detroit and there is an excellent chance that we have handled a case like yours.

Distinctions Between Larceny Offenses

Every theft related offense involves taking property, or holding property, without the authority of the lawful owner. However, each theft related offense also has distinguishing characteristics that make them different. For example, the crime of embezzlement occurs mostly in employment relationships. However, the crime of false pretenses does not require and employment or business relationship but involves a misrepresentation. The crime of simple larceny does not involve an employment relationship or a misrepresentation.

Embezzlement is a crime whereby the offender (usually an employee) is entrusted with the property or money of another person, or business entity, and misappropriates it without the consent of the owner/employer. Various examples of embezzlement include:

  • Taking money or things of value from an employer or in a business relationship (member of corporation or partnership).
  • Intentionally moving money from the employer’s account(s) into a personal account with the intent to steal.
  • Working with outsiders to steal property or misappropriate assets of the employer without consent.
  • Using an employers credit cards for personal matters or purchases outside the scope of employment.

False pretenses is a crime whereby the perpetrator obtains money or property from another by an act of fraud or misrepresentation. Example: False pretenses occurs when a contractor promises to provide specified goods or services (a new roof), receives payment, but never intends deliver on the promise.

Larceny involves the taking of property of another with the intent to deprive the owner of the same. Larceny does not require a relationship of trust (embezzlement) and does not involve an act of fraud or misrepresentation (false pretenses).

Criminal Penalties for Larceny, Embezzlement, False Pretenses

In general, the penalty for a theft crime, and whether it is classified as a misdemeanor or felony, is dependent upon the value of the property or money taken. If the amount is under $1,000.00, it is classified as a misdemeanor. If the amount is over $1,000.00, it is classified as a felony.

Value of Property Taken/MisappropriatedMaximum Imprisonment, Fines
Under $20093 days and/or $500 fine
$200 but less than $1,0001 year and/or $2,000 fine
$1,000 but less than $20,0005 years and/or $10,000 fine
$20,000 but less than $50,00010 years and/or $15,000 fine
$50,000 but less than $100,00015 years and/or $25,000 fine
$100,000 or greater20 years and/or $50,000 fine

Triple penalty, restitution: In addition to possible incarceration, all economic crimes in Michigan can carry a hefty financial penalty of up to 3x the amount of money or property obtained by the offender. In addition, the court can order payment of restitution to any victim for losses attributed to the conduct of the offender. Losses may also include accounting costs which are attributed to the economic crime. Restitution may also include reimbursement to third parties such as insurance companies.

Paying Back the Money, Avoid a Felony Record & Avoid Jail

Restitution is always one of the most significant factors in getting a theft crime resolved. Often, paying back all the lost money can result in a plea bargain with NO JAIL and NO FELONY conviction. Here is just a sample of cases, where our clients faced serious theft related charges but avoided a felony conviction and avoided jail by paying restitution:

  • Macomb County Circuit Court: Felony Embezzlement over $300,000
    Result: 20-year felony reduced, 12 months’ probation, no jail.
  • Clinton Township: Uttering & Publishing (max penalty 14 years in prison)
    Result: Dismiss felony, reduce to misdemeanor, non-reporting probation.
  • Warren: Felony Embezzlement over $20,000 from school band
    Result: Reduced to a misdemeanor without probation.
  • Shelby Township: Uttering & Publishing (max penalty 14 years in prison)Result: Dismiss felony, reduce to misdemeanor, non-reporting probation.
  • Harper Woods: Felony Embezzlement by client under age 26
    Result: Taken under advisement and dismissed pursuant to HYTA.
  • Sterling Heights: Felony False Pretenses (max penalty 5 years in prison)
    Result: Reduced to a misdemeanor without probation.
  • Eastpointe: 2 counts of felony embezzlement
    Result: Reduced to misdemeanor, deferred, and dismissed in 12 months.
  • Troy: Felony Embezzlement by Employee at Somerset Mall
    Result: Reduced to a misdemeanor and dismissed after 1 year of probation.
  • Detroit: Embezzlement over $50,000 from major utility company
    Result: Dismissal pursuant to diversion program with restitution.
  • Detroit: Embezzlement over $50,000 from health insurance company
    Result: Dismissal pursuant to diversion program with restitution.
Know Your Rights: Police Interviews, Polygraphs

Retaining a criminal defense lawyer should be your first priority if you are the subject of a criminal investigation for an economic crime or any other criminal matter. Law enforcement officers follow a similar pattern in the way that they investigate a person accused of an economic crime. Once the police have gathered evidence, they will attempt to get a confession from the accused party to set up the strong case for the prosecutor. Even when the accused party denies any wrongdoing, the police will use an interrogation as an opportunity to establish pertinent facts, establish a timeline of events, confirm relationships with other suspects, and place the suspect at the crime scene. Following an interview, the accused will be asked to submit to a polygraph examination.

Don’t Wait Any Longer. We Can Help You!

No Jail! No Felony Record! A person convicted of a felony loses many rights including the right to own or possess a firearm. Legal entanglements are often manageable. All it takes is one phone call to get answers to your most pressing legal questions and immediate attention to your legal problem by attorneys with the highest legal ratings in the United States. Contact the ABDO LAW for comprehensive legal representation if you are the subject of a criminal investigation or charged with any misdemeanor or felony.

Free Consultation and Same Day Appointment.
Call Now: 586.412-5555.

Client Reviews
The level of service exceeded my expectations, your devotion to my refusal to settle for a lessor misdemeanor was reassuring and inspired, and the team's creative interpretation of the law in finding a comparable civil infraction was legendary. It was a five-star experience. Thank you for refusing to settle when I was innocent of my accused crime. Satisfied Client, Assault Charge DISMISSED
Matt and his staff...turned a terrible situation in my life into a positive life learning experience. Not many court cases end up being a positive in life, but Abdo Law delivered just that. Going with their firm was the best decision I could have made and I owe them everything for turning my bad decision into a extremely manageable situation. Thank you Abdo law!!!! Bill L., Satisfied Client
The Abdo Law Firm represented myself during one of my biggest times of need in my life. They handled my cases with ease and met my expectations far beyond what I anticipated. Not only did they got one, but two domestic violence charges completely dropped. I would have been lost without this five-star Law Firm. Satisfied Client, 2 Separate Assault Charges DISMISSED
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