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What is theft of court funds?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

All across the country, government officials often find themselves accused of stealing money intended for other purposes and using them for personal expenses. Believe it or not, even judges often face these accusations. When accused of stealing court funds, it means the state or federal government believes the person misappropriated funds.

A more accurate term for you to look into when it comes to stealing court funds is “embezzlement.” According to Cornell Law School, this occurs when someone entrusted with personal property from an organization either keeps it for themselves or transfers it to a third party. It also acknowledges that in most cases, this refers to the misappropriation of funds.

Methods accusers allege

When judges and other court workers face accusations of embezzlement, there are some specific methods prosecutors you might see them allege. One of the most common is acquiring money over time by taking several small withdrawals, known as skimming off the top. This method is generally harder to prove. In other cases, the state might accuse court workers of taking large withdrawals or simply spending it.

Reporting embezzled funds

One of the most intriguing aspects of how embezzlement works in U.S. court systems is that the IRS wants its cut. Cornell Law School reports that people convicted of embezzling funds need to report those funds as part of the income they bring in for the year and then pay taxes on this. If they fail to do so, the IRS might file charges for tax evasion.

Workers who handle funds or other personal property on behalf of the court should consider documenting all expenses and keeping impeccable records. This way, should accusations arise, it might become much easier to prove innocence.