Embezzlement in Virginia occurs when a person wrongfully takes money or property that was entrusted to him. A Virginia embezzlement charge generally results from money or property taken in the course of employment. Money, personal property, and even computer data can be the subject of a Virginia embezzlement charge.
A Virginia embezzlement charge (Va. Code §18.2-111) can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the property embezzled or the number of the offender’s prior larceny or embezzlement convictions. Property valued at less than $200 is a misdemeanor and is treated as petty larceny under Va. Code §18.2-96. Property valued at $200 or more is treated and punished as grand larceny (Va. Code §18.2-95) which is a felony. A third offense embezzlement or larceny conviction is always a felony, regardless of the value of the property embezzled.
Proof of Virginia Embezzlement Charge
To convict an offender of a Virginia embezzlement charge under Va. Code §18.2-111, the Commonwealth must prove that the offender:
- wrongfully and fraudulently
- used, disposed of, concealed, or embezzled
- personal property or money
- of another person
- that he received for another person or through his employment.
The Commonwealth can also charge multiple instances of embezzlement in a 6 month period as one crime, adding together the value of the property or money embezzled over that time (Va. Code §19.2-223). This usually results in a felony charge based on the value of the property being added into one charge.
Difference Between Virginia Larceny Charge and Virginia Embezzlement Charge
Embezzlement in Virginia is considered a form of larceny and is punished the same way as Virginia larceny charges. The difference between larceny and embezzlement is that larceny requires that the offender took the property without the owner’s permission, but embezzlement is a wrongful taking by someone who at one point had permission to exercise custody over the property.
Penalties for Virginia Embezzlement Charge
A Virginia embezzlement charge is punished the same way as Virginia larceny charges. If the value of the goods embezzled is less than $200, the offense is a misdemeanor. It is punished the same was as a petty larceny charge under §18.2-96. A first offense embezzlement or larceny charge in Virginia is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punished with up to 12 months in jail,
a fine up to $2500, and restitution. A second offense embezzlement or larceny charge in Virginia is punished
with a minimum of 30 days in jail up to 12 months, a fine up to $2500, and restitution. A third offense embezzlement or
larceny charge in Virginia is a felony, punished with up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $2500.
If the value of the goods embezzled is more than $200, the offense is punished as a grand larceny charge under §18.2-95. Embezzlement of goods more than $200 is punished with up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $2500.
An offender can be charged with, and convicted of, a second or third offense embezzlement if he has had any embezzlement conviction, larceny conviction, or a conviction for any offense deemed larceny.
Virginia Embezzlement Statute
§ 18.2-111. Embezzlement deemed larceny; indictment.