Nashville Embezzlement Defense Attorneys

Trust is paramount when it comes to any business or commercial undertaking. It is the role of a business owner to assure employees, clients and partners that they can be trusted with the company’s money and other assets. A case of embezzlement can immediately break this trust, ruining the reputation of the company and exposing you to criminal charges and other penalties.

At Nash Law, we have Nashville embezzlement defense attorneys who have handled numerous embezzlement cases in the state. These cases are complex and resource-intensive. Each case comes with its unique challenges, and with the risk of hefty fines, incarceration, civil liability and civil forfeiture, it’s important to ensure you have the best legal representation.

Our Nashville criminal defense attorney team is readily available to assess your case and discuss your legal options. Call us today at 615-NASH-LAW to get started!

Table of Contents

What is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is a white-collar crime characterized by the misappropriation or theft of funds entrusted to an individual for management or safekeeping. Typically occurring in a professional or financial setting, such as an employee pilfering company funds or assets, embezzlement involves a breach of trust.

The perpetrator, often an employee or individual in a position of responsibility, wrongfully diverts funds for personal use, manipulating financial records to conceal the illicit activity.

Embezzlement cases hinge on the abuse of trust rather than traditional theft, making them intricate legal matters that require a careful examination of financial transactions and evidence to establish the intent and actions of the accused.

How Does Embezzlement Differ From Theft?

Embezzlement and theft are both the wrongful taking of property but differ in the perpetrator’s initial access. Theft involves taking property you never had lawful possession of, like snatching a purse.

While embezzlement occurs when someone entrusted with property (e.g., an employee with company funds) fraudulently converts it for personal gain, essentially betraying a trust. This distinction matters legally, often leading to harsher penalties for embezzlement due to the abuse of trust and the potential for significant financial damage.

Common Examples of Embezzlement Scenarios

There are many scenarios for embezzlement, but the most common include:

  • Employee Embezzlement – This is one of the most common forms of embezzlement. It occurs when an employee misappropriates funds or property entrusted to them by their employer. For example, an employee may divert cash from sales transactions into their own pocket, manipulate expense reports for personal gain, or siphon off company assets for personal use.
  • Corporate embezzlement – Here, high-ranking executives or officers within a company embezzle funds or manipulate financial records for personal gain. They may create fictitious transactions, overstate expenses, or divert company funds into their personal accounts.
  • Government Embezzlement – This happens when government officials or employees misappropriate public funds or engage in fraudulent activities. This can include bribery, kickbacks, or the diversion of public funds for personal gain.
  • Non-Profit Organization Embezzlement – This occurs when volunteers or employees in a non-profit organization divert donations or grant funds for personal use instead of using them for the intended charitable purposes.

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What Are the Elements of Embezzlement?

Proving embezzlement hinges on four key elements:

  1. Entrusted Property or Funds – Firstly, the accused must have been entrusted with the property due to a position of trust, like an employee, agent, or executor.
  2. Unauthorized Appropriation – Secondly, the accused must have intentionally diverted the property for their own use, exceeding their authorized access.
  3. Ownership – The prosecutor must demonstrate the property belonged to the victim, not the accused.
  4. Intent – The accused must have acted with specific criminal intent to deprive the owner of the property.

Without proving all four elements beyond a reasonable doubt, an embezzlement case cannot be successfully prosecuted. Finding evidence to prove your charge does not have any merit can be a complicated matter, and best left to the expertise of a knowledgeable Nashville embezzlement defense attorney.

What Are the Legal Consequences of Embezzlement?

In the state of Tennessee, the penalties for embezzlement differ depending on the value of the assets or funds, as well as the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, however, you can expect the following:

  • Misdemeanor Embezzlement – If the total amount of the embezzled funds or property is less than $500, it is usually deemed as a Class A misdemeanor. This carries penalties like fines of up to $2500 and a jail time of up to 12 months.
  • Felony Embezzlement – If the total amount of embezzled funds or property is above $500, the act is classified as a felony. This carries penalties of up to 30 years of incarceration and fines of up to $2500.

In some cases, the court may order the offender to fully repay the stolen funds and any incurred losses to the victim. This is known as restitution and is designed to directly compensate the wronged party.

Depending on the case and sentencing, probation might be imposed instead of, or alongside, incarceration. This often comes with specific terms, like community service, financial restrictions, or mental health counseling.

Embezzlement charges carry significant legal consequences, including substantial fines, restitution orders, and potential incarceration. The financial and professional ramifications can be severe, impacting one’s career and reputation.

A Nashville embezzlement defense attorney plays a crucial role in navigating these legal challenges. They possess the expertise to analyze complex financial transactions, scrutinize evidence, and craft a strategic defense tailored to the specific details of the case.

By challenging the prosecution’s evidence and presenting a compelling defense, an experienced attorney aims to mitigate the legal consequences associated with embezzlement charges.

Whether negotiating for reduced charges, exploring plea bargains, or vigorously defending the accused in court, a skilled Nashville embezzlement defense attorney helps navigate the legal landscape to achieve the best possible outcome for their client.

Defending Against Embezzlement Charges

You always have the chance of using insufficient evidence as a form of defense, as with most crimes. However, embezzlement charges usually come with a lot of evidence, meaning it may not be the best strategy for your case.

The aforementioned elements of proving embezzlement also play a role in creating a good defense strategy. A Nashville embezzlement defense attorney knows what information can exonerate you. Defenses that may help win an embezzlement case include:

Lack of Intent

Embezzlement is considered to be an intentional crime, and so, if it happened due to a miscommunication or misunderstanding, there is no basis to have you convicted.

Mistaken Identity

This form of defense claims the wrong person has been accused. It requires solid proof, like alibis, witnesses, or inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case. However, it can be challenging, especially if you had access to the funds.


You might be able to fight the embezzlement charge if you were scared someone would hurt you if you didn’t steal the money. This is called duress. It basically means you were forced to do something wrong. The law wants to punish the real bad guys, not someone who was scared, so claiming duress could help your case.


Entrapment resembles duress imposed by the government, albeit without the explicit threat of violence associated with duress. In other words, it occurs when the government, through its agents, encourages or entices someone to engage in illegal activity that they were not predisposed to commit.

Engaging a Nashville embezzlement defense attorney is essential when facing embezzlement charges due to the intricacies of such cases. A skilled attorney brings a profound understanding of both criminal law and financial complexities, enabling them to dissect the evidence, scrutinize financial records, and challenge the prosecution’s case effectively.

With expertise in navigating the legal nuances surrounding embezzlement accusations, a defense attorney can build a robust strategy tailored to the specific circumstances of the case. Their advocacy aims not only to safeguard the accused’s rights but also to mitigate potential consequences, such as financial penalties and damage to one’s professional reputation.

Trusting in the experience and dedication of a Nashville embezzlement defense attorney ensures a formidable defense against the complexities of white-collar crime allegations.

How a Nashville Embezzlement Defense Attorney Can Help

A criminal defense attorney can provide legal advice and guidance, helping you understand the charges, potential consequences, and available legal options. They will conduct a thorough investigation, gathering evidence and identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

Additionally, they can negotiate plea bargains to potentially reduce charges or penalties. They will build a strong defense strategy, challenging evidence and presenting alternative explanations. Finally, a Nashville embezzlement defense attorney will represent you in court, ensuring your rights are protected and advocate for the best possible outcome.

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Call Our Nashville Embezzlement Defense Attorneys Today For Experienced Legal Advice Regarding Your Embezzlement Case

When facing the complex and serious allegations of embezzlement, securing the expertise of a Nashville embezzlement defense attorney is paramount. Our dedicated legal professionals stand as staunch advocates, leveraging their knowledge and experience to craft a robust defense strategy tailored to your specific case.

With a commitment to safeguarding your rights and reputation, we navigate the intricacies of the legal system to achieve the best possible outcome. Trust in our unwavering dedication to provide a formidable defense, ensuring that you have a steadfast ally by your side throughout the challenges of embezzlement accusations.

Call our Nash Law office today at 615-NASH-LAW to initiate the process with one of our skilled Nashville embezzlement defense attorneys.

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