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Is Embezzlement a Felony in Ohio?

Updated: October 27, 2020
Nicholas G. Gounaris
By Nicholas G. Gounaris

Nicholas G. Gounaris is a skilled trial lawyer and founding partner of Gounaris Abboud law firm. He provides clients of the firm with competent legal representation and focuses his law practice in the areas of DUI Defense, Criminal Defense, Family Law Issues, Federal Criminal Law and Personal Injury cases.

is embezzlement a felony

In Ohio, the charges and penalties for embezzlement depend on the value of the stolen property.

If you or someone you know was charged with embezzlement, it is vital to speak with an experienced embezzlement attorney as soon as possible to determine what you should do next. 

What Is Embezzlement?

Essentially, embezzlement is theft. What differentiates embezzlement from other kinds of theft is the relationship between the person who steals and the property stolen. The relevant relationship is one of entrustment, meaning that the person is entrusted with monitoring or managing property for someone else.

The relationship is not one of ownership. For example, a bank teller is entrusted with the money in bank accounts belonging to bank clients. If the teller steals money from the bank, they could be charged with embezzlement. Is embezzlement a felony? The specific charge depends on the facts of the case. 

Charges You Face

Following the structure of Ohio’s theft statute, embezzlement is charged according to the value of the property stolen. If the stolen property is worth less than $1,000, the charge is a misdemeanor in the first degree. Embezzlement of property worth more than $1,000 is a felony offense.

If you were arrested for embezzlement in Ohio, you should consult with an experienced attorney to determine the specific charges you face. Embezzlement felonies and misdemeanors are serious charges. 

Embezzlement Penalties in Ohio

The penalties for an embezzlement conviction in Ohio depends on the nature of the charge. Jail time for embezzlement is common. Potential sentences for embezzlement are:

  • For property valued less than $1,000, up to 180 days in jail and/or fines up to $1,000;
  • For property valued between $1,000 and $7,500, up to one year in jail and/or fines up to $2,000;
  • For property valued between $7,500 and $150,000, up to 18 months in prison and/or fines up to $5,000;
  • For property valued between $150,000 and $750,000, up to 36 months in prison and/or fines up to $10,000; and 
  • For property valued between $750,000 and $1,500,000, up to 11 years in prison and/or fines up to $20,000. 

Penalties associated with embezzlement can also differ depending on the type of property stolen. Embezzling firearms or dangerous ordinances is punishable by up to 36 months in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000. Embezzlement of motor vehicles, dangerous drugs, police dogs or horses, and anhydrous ammonia also carries specific penalties. 

Possible Defenses

If you were arrested for embezzlement, it is important to speak with an experienced embezzlement attorney to discuss possible defenses to your charge. Defenses to embezzlement are:

  • The evidence is not sufficient to support the charge;
  • You committed the crime under duress; or 
  • You didn’t have the necessary intent to commit the crime. 

Although not technically a defense, the passage of too much time may bar an embezzlement charge. The statute of limitations for an embezzlement charge is six years from the date the alleged embezzlement occurred or  could have been discovered. 

How We Can Help 

The attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, are dedicated to providing high-quality legal services to the citizens of Ohio. We represent clients in a variety of legal matters, including criminal defense, family law, and personal injury.

Contact us today, by email or by calling 937-222-1515, for a free case analysis. We will walk you through your case, step by step, and discuss your options.

Available 24/7 & Obligation-Free