In some cases, when an employer accuses an employee of misusing or misappropriating company funds, the dispute can be resolved outside of criminal court. However, in many other cases, employees have to confront allegations of theft or embezzlement.

Recently, a New Jersey man was accused of illegally taking $6 million from his employer. The man worked for a trucking company for at least nine years, during which time he is accused of filing false vehicle registrations and pocketing the cashier’s checks intended for the registration fees.

A prosecutor suggested that the man used stolen funds to buy cars, pay credit card bills and rent a property on the Jersey Shore. It remains to be seen whether those claims can be substantiated. Convicting a person on a theft charge carries a high standard of proof, and a strong criminal defense will ensure that the prosecution’s claims are held to that high standard.

According to authorities, the criminal charge of theft by deception came about after the man’s employer reported financial irregularities to police. The man’s bail was set at $250,000.

In New Jersey, if a person is accused of embezzling more than $75,000, then the associated criminal charge carries a second-degree status. A conviction on a second-degree theft or embezzlement charge can result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years. However, depending on the circumstances of a case, it may be possible to have a charge dismissed or reduced.

Other defense options may include the Pretrial Intervention Program, which can allow defendants to avoid jail time and instead complete less restrictive requirements. If you have been accused of a theft-related crime, it is important to establish a defense strategy as soon as possible.

Source: CBS New York, “Prosecutors: NJ Man Carried Out ‘Simple Scheme’ To Steal $6 Million From Employer,” March 21, 2014