What Do You Understand By The Term Embezzlement?

It is the act of fraudulently converting another’s property by the person who is at such a position of trusts as an employee or an agent. It is the wrong trust obtaining property by some kind of false pretences like a trick or lie, and at the time when the property is transferred, which forces the victim to transfer his or her wrongdoer title to the property. English legislature has created embezzlement where the specific number of person is designated to be liable for committing the offence.

What is embezzlement?

The person who fraudulently converts another’s property is bankers, agents, attorneys, and corporate officers, converting the type of property are governed by statute. Generally, the property or things which are embezzled is money chattels, money or the things which are valuable. Embezzlement meaning highlights the documents covered i.e. checks, bonds, written documents, promissory notes and these are personal property and commercial property. The property which is subjected to embezzlement should have value and it is not so important that the value must be an element of the offence.

To define embezzlement the following elements needs to be taken care of:

  1. Fraudulence
  2. Lawful possession
  3. Property
  4. Criminal conversion
  5. of another person

Checks without endorsement have no value, but when the endorsement is forged it gives value to make embezzlement.

4 Common elements for embezzlement

1) The property must be not of accused but belong to a person such as a principal or an employer.

2) The property should be converted to original and lawful possession to the defendants.

3) The position of the defendant should be in the position of trust so that property is converted by fraudulently.

4) The defendant should have the intent to defraud the owner.

For embezzlement penal code has provided for various provisions such as cheating, wrongful conversion of the property, misappropriation, etc. The employer or principal should be the owner of the property which is embezzled by the employee or agent at the time when this offence is committed. The exceptions are also there as co-owner of the property. Tenants and Joint Tenants can never be guilty of this offence w.r.t property which is jointly owned. If a co-owner wrongfully transfers the property which is jointly owned then there is no transfer of the property. If any person has any kind of interest in the property which is jointly held with another person, then the person can’t be convicted of embezzlement relating to that property.

Example for this can be: An automobile is jointly owned by the co-owner then they will not be guilty of embezzling because both the owners have the equal right to the possession. Embezzlement will be punishable if partners wrongfully and fraudulently convey the partnership assets.

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by Priya Singh

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