Skip links

Las Vegas Embezzlement Attorney

Embezzlement Attorney In Las Vegas, NV

Embezzlement, as defined by NRS 205.300, is the act of any individual who has been entrusted with money, goods, or property – known as a bailee – and converts it to their own use without permission from the owner, intending to steal it or commit fraud. In simpler terms: if you’ve been given custody of money or valuables and you take them for yourself without authorization, you’re guilty of embezzlement. If you’re facing embezzlement charges in Nevada, it’s critical that you speak with an experienced Las Vegas embezzlement attorney. At the Spartacus Law Firm, we routinely represent those involved in similar theft and fraud cases. Contact our office today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.

Understanding Embezzlement Charges In Nevada

In Nevada, embezzlement occurs when someone steals money or property the owner entrusted them with. Embezzling $1,200 or more is a felony. Anything less than $1,200 is typically charged as a misdemeanor. An example of embezzlement is when an employee steals more than $250 from their employer. The following are some common situations where embezzlement takes place:

  • Banks
  • Retail stores
  • Restaurants
  • Charities and non-profits
  • Schools and universities
  • Casinos

However, embezzlement can occur even without involving money. For example, if you don’t return a leased car on time, you may be accused of embezzling and face harsh penalties. That’s why it’s so imperative that you speak with a Las Vegas embezzlement attorney to review all of your options and curate the best possible defense.

Penalties For Embezzlement Charges In Las Vegas

The severity of your sentence for embezzlement hinges on the value and type of property involved in the crime. As with Nevada’s petit larceny and grand larceny, The distinction is made between crimes involving property worth $650 or more and those worth less.

Property Less Than $650

If the value of the embezzled property is less than $650, it will be considered a misdemeanor. The punishment for this includes restitution for what was converted, as well as a possible fine of $1,000 or jail time of up to 6 months.

Property Between $650 – $3,500

If the property embezzled totals between $650 and $3,500, then the charge will be a Category C felony. The penalty for this crime includes 1 to 5 years in a Nevada prison sentence, restitution fees owed, and up to $5,000 worth of fines.

Property Worth $3,500+

Embezzlement of over $3,500 is a Type B felony under Nevada law. The sentence for this crime can include up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Keep in mind that the embezzler will also have to pay restitution to the person they stole from.

Multiple Acts Of Embezzlement In A 6-month Period In Nevada

Remember, if you’re being prosecuted for embezzlement in Las Vegas, the prosecutor can join several embezzlement misdemeanor acts together as one offense–but only if they happened within a six-month time frame and were committed against the same victim.

Offenses Related To Embezzlement In Nevada

In Nevada, some offenses are similar to embezzlement, such as:

Identity Theft

If you use another person’s identification information to access their property or money, you are committing the crime of identity theft. The following documents belonging to another person could lead to charges of identity theft under NRS 205.461:

  • Social security number.
  • Driver’s license.
  • Official names of the victim.
  • Fingerprints and other biometric information.
  • Other identification information.

Identity theft in Nevada is a class B felony, punishable by up to 20 years in State prison and fines not exceeding $100,000. If you commit a crime against a vulnerable person or for the purpose of avoiding criminal prosecution, you could face an enhanced sentence. Most identity theft cases cause serious financial losses to the victim, so you may be ordered to pay restitution.

Grand Larceny

NRS 205.220 defines theft as stealing another person’s property whose value is $1200 or more. The most significant difference between grand larceny and embezzlement is that embezzlement involves stealing f property that has been entrusted to you. Depending on the value of the stolen property, grand larceny could be charged as a category B, C, or D felony which would result in a maximum prison sentence of twenty years and $15,000 in fines upon conviction.

Grand Theft Auto vs Embezzlement Of A Vehicle

The state of Nevada has distinct laws for those accused of stealing a general vehicle as opposed to a rental car. The former typically referred to as grand theft auto or grand larceny of a vehicle, is considered more serious than the latter, which generally falls under the category of embezzlement. A person commits grand theft auto when they intentionally steal and carry away or drive another person’s car without permission. However, NRS 205.312 claims that:

“embezzlement of a rental vehicle can occur whenever a person who has rented a vehicle willfully and intentionally fails to return the vehicle to the rental company or owner within 72 hours of the expiration of the rental agreement.”

If somebody does not turn in their rental car on time, even if they don’t have any unlawful intent like they would need for grand theft auto, then this law suggests that they’ve stolen the car. There can often be many nuances to these types of charges, which is why it’s strongly recommended that you seek counsel from a qualified Las Vegas embezzlement lawyer who frequently handles similar cases.

Penalties for Keeping a Rental Car After Contract in Nevada

If you steal a rental car in Nevada, you will be charged with a felony, regardless of whether you are charged with grand theft auto or embezzlement of the vehicle. As of July 1, 2020, first-time offenders for vehicle embezzlement (or keeping a rental car after your contract is up) will be classified as a category C felony. This can result in a sentence of at least one-year imprisonment and up to 5 years, along with a fine of $10,000.

If someone is caught keeping a rental car after their contract expires for a second time within five years of the first offense, it is classified as a category B felony. The punishment consists of one year to six years in jail and/or fines up to $5,000. Not only does a court have the authority to sentence an offender to jail time and/or a fine, but the court can also order restitution. This could cover compensatory expenses such as rental income loss while the vehicle was out of commission, damage repair costs, or even the value of totaled or destroyed vehicles.

las vegas criminal defense ATTORNEY

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Embezzlement And Larceny?

Larceny differs from embezzlement in that the person who commits larceny never had legal ownership or controlling custody of the stolen property, while someone committing embezzlement did have lawful possession or control over the assets before taking them.

Am I Responsible If My Rental Car Is Stolen?

If you are listed as the responsible driver on your rental contract and you return the vehicle late or not at all, you may be considered to have stolen it. Of course, there may be other circumstances where even if the car is later stolen, you would not be held responsible.

For example, say another authorized driver was on the rental contract and they took off with the car. Or you asked someone else to return it but they didn’t follow through. In those cases, you’re not criminally liable because there’s no way to prove that you meant to deprive the owner of their vehicle.

Is Embezzlement A Felony In Nevada?

NRS 205.300 is the Nevada theft law prohibiting embezzlement, which happens when someone steals money or property from the person who entrusted it to them. Embezzling $1,200 or more is a felony offense, while lesser amounts are misdemeanors. However, prosecutors will often try to tack on an additional property to a charge or combine multiple embezzlement charges to reach the felony limit. It’s critical to have a Las Vegas embezzlement attorney who has experience defending against the charges and combating the allegations against you.

What Is Restitution?

Any penalty for conviction of embezzlement will include an order of restitution, which is the reimbursement of any funds that were stolen from the victim. Restitution is different from the additional fines that will be included in sentencing.

What Are The Defenses To Embezzlement Charges In Nevada?

If you’re facing a criminal embezzlement charge for renting a car, you may have two primary defenses. The first is that there was no intent to steal; meaning, if personal circumstances occurred which caused an end to the rental period, and returning the vehicle wasn’t possible, then it can be argued in court that permanently depriving the owner wasn’t intentional. Although this defense is difficult as circumstances will need to show that returning was always the intention.

The second way to establish a defense against criminal embezzlement charges in Nevada is by demonstrating that you had consent – or reasonable belief in having consent – from the vehicle’s owner to stay in its possession. An example of this might be if you call the car rental company and request an extension on your rental term. If you mistakenly held a good faith belief that your rental was extended, or if the car rental company made an administrative error and neglected to update their system accordingly after your extension, it would list the car as overdue.

How Are Embezzlement Charges In Nevada Proven?

The crime of embezzlement is complete whenever an appropriation is made even where the accused was immediately apprehended and thus had no opportunity to convert the tokens to his own use. Siriani v. Sheriff, Clark County, 93 Nev. 559, 571 P.2d 111, 1977 Nev. LEXIS 631 (Nev. 1977). The crime of embezzlement is complete whenever an appropriation is made, and it is to no avail that the taker intended to restore the money at a later time. Rose v. State, 86 Nev. 555, 471 P.2d 262, 1970 Nev. LEXIS 563 (Nev. 1970).

Can Gaming Tokens Be The Subject Of Embezzlement Charges?

Las Vegas is known for its extravagant casinos and nightlife. Gaming tokens found in casinos are viewed the same way as traditional US currency and criminal charges can be filed against those who attempt to take advantage of it. According to NRS 205.300, gaming tokens are “money, goods or property” which can be the subject of embezzlement and such tokens can be valued at their face amount. Siriani v. Sheriff, Clark County, 93 Nev. 559, 571 P.2d 111, 1977 Nev. LEXIS 631 (Nev. 1977).

Contact Our Las Vegas Embezzlement Attorney Today

Felony embezzlement charges in Las Vegas can permanently alter your life if convicted. Even a misdemeanor embezzlement charge will show up on your criminal record and hang over your head for a very long time. In fact, many employers avoid hiring people with an embezzlement offense, which limits employment opportunities. Luckily, our skilled Las Vegas embezzlement attorney at the Spartacus Law Firm knows how to keep your record clean and fight for your future. To get started, contact our office today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.