Larceny by employee and embezzlement are offenses that classify as felonies regardless of the dollar amount or value involved. The charges allege taking money or property from an employer, organization or anyone placing trust in the alleged offender.
Based on the charges reflecting a breach of trust, North Carolina considers the offenses serious. When a business places its assets in the control of an employee, the state believes that the individual has a duty of care to protect them.
Embezzlement and larceny by employee are similar offenses, but an allegation of embezzlement can also involve individuals who are not employees. As noted on the North Carolina General Assembly website, embezzlement can also include executors, trustees, administrators or guardians as alleged offenders.
Proving an employee’s breach of trust occurred
To support charges, an employer must provide reasonable evidence to law enforcement that demonstrates a worker took something from the company. In some cases, surveillance footage could possibly show what looks like an employee taking inventory from the premises.
A business owner could also suspect an employee of misappropriating cash. An accountant may then look over the company’s financial records to prove missing funds. Law enforcement, however, can only file a charge with sufficient and reliable evidence. As reported by the Watauga Democrat, the State Bureau of Investigation worked with local authorities to obtain evidence to support the charges in the case of a Wilkes County resident.
Defending against accusations of breach of trust
When several employees have control over company property or funds, it could become difficult to effectively manage and track the operation. A breakdown in communication between an employer and an employee could possibly lead to unfounded suspicions.
An employee may have had permission to use company-owned property, but confusion could occur if the consent does not have adequate documentation. Depending on the evidence, an accused individual’s defense may counter a prosecutor’s attempts to prove an intent to deprive an employer of property.