Kansas Embezzlement Defense Attorney

Embezzlement is considered a theft crime in Kansas, but embezzlement is a much different kind of theft. A person commits embezzlement when they misappropriate money or other property entrusted to them by another party.

Embezzlement is common in many people’s management of finances at work for various expenses and accounts, but it can also occur in cases of property held in trust. As is the case with all theft crimes, the possible penalties for an embezzlement conviction in Kansas will depend on the amount or value of the property that was embezzled.

If you were arrested or think that you could be under investigation for an alleged embezzlement offense in the Wichita area, remember that you do not have to give a statement to authorities. Instead, contact Pratt Law, LLC and let us represent you and protect you.

Our firm will immediately conduct an independent investigation and determine the strongest possible defenses that could possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. We will examine your case as soon as you call (316) 262-2600 or contact us online.

What is Embezzlement?

Under Kansas Statute § 21-5801(a), theft is defined as any one of a number of acts done with intent to permanently deprive the owner of the possession, use, or benefit of their property or services. Obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over property or services and obtaining control over property or services by deception are two of the forms of theft identified that apply to embezzlement crimes.

Theft offenses are classified by the value of the property or services stolen:

  • Property or services of the value of $100,000 or more is a severity level 5 nonperson felony
  • Property or services of the value of at least $25,000 but less than $100,000 is a severity level 7 nonperson felony
  • Property or services of the value of at least $1,500 but less than $25,000 is a severity level 9 nonperson felony
  • Property or services of the value of less than $1,500 is a class A nonperson misdemeanor
  • Property of the value of at least $50 but less than $1,500 is a severity level 9 nonperson felony if the offense is committed by a person who has been convicted of theft two or more times in the previous five years.

Chapter 31 of Title 18 of the U.S.C. lists over 30 kinds of federal embezzlement crimes. Some of the different federal embezzlement crimes include, but are not limited to crimes involving:

  • Public money
  • Property
  • Records
  • Tools and materials for counterfeiting purposes
  • Accounting generally for public money
  • Court officers depositing registry money
  • Disbursing officer falsely certifying full payment
  • Paying lesser in lieu of the lawful amount
  • Misusing public funds
  • Theft by bank examiner
  • Theft of livestock
  • Artwork
  • Medical products

What are the Penalties for an Embezzlement Conviction in Kansas?

A class A misdemeanor embezzlement offense is punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. The Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Grids determine sentencing in felony cases. Kansas has grids for drug and non-drug crimes, with the grids having rows dedicated to felony severity levels and columns dedicated to a person’s criminal record.

Prison sentences may be aggravated sentences for crimes with aggravating factors, mitigated sentences for crimes with mitigating factors, and standard sentences for crimes with no or equal amounts of aggravating and mitigating factors. The first number listed in a grid is the aggravated sentence, the second number is the standard sentence, and the final number is the mitigated sentence.

The grid is as follows for severity level 5 nonperson felony, severity level 7 nonperson felony, and severity level 9 nonperson felony offenses.

The two blue columns for level 5 nonperson felony offenses denotes border box areas, which mean that the alleged offender’s attorney can file a motion pleading why the offender is entitled to probation. The green columns for level 7 nonperson felony and level 9 nonperson felony offenses indicate presumptive probation. All other grids involve presumptive imprisonment.

A severity level 9 or severity level 7 nonperson felony can also result in a fine of up to $100,000, and a severity level 5 nonperson felony is punishable by a fine of up to $300,000.

Several federal embezzlement crimes are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. Certain federal crime may be punishable by as many as 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million.

How Attorney James R. Pratt Can Help You

Many embezzlement defenses will include arguments about intent. In some cases, a person may be able to argue that their misappropriation was an honest oversight and mistake of fact. A “good faith belief” is often the best defense in embezzlement cases. Other cases could involve an alleged offender being genuinely confused about what they did wrong.

Were you arrested or do you believe that you might be under investigation for an alleged embezzlement crime in Wichita or another nearby community in Kansas? Make sure you have Pratt Law, LLC on your side right away.

James R. Pratt has more than two decades of criminal defense experience. Call (316) 262-2600 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case and your defense.