Embezzlement is a type of aggravated felony. As a result, anyone who is working toward citizenship or who is immigrating to the United States needs to be aware of what it is and how to avoid participating in any acts that could result in a conviction.

Embezzlement can lead to immigrants being deported, and those who are in the United States as citizens face heavy penalties. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

What is embezzlement?

Embezzlement is, basically, taking money, misapplying money or stealing money from another person or source to benefit your own accounts. For instance, if you work at a cash register and “skim” money off the top each day by claiming your drawer was short a few dollars, you could eventually be charged with stealing or embezzling money. You could also be accused of embezzlement if you try to hide the transfer of funds to your bank account by altering the business accounts to make it look like the business never brought in the income.

Usually, those who embezzle property have lawful possession to begin with. Then, they convert the property in a manner that benefits them. An example might be if you work in a bank and take someone’s deposit. You might input that the deposit was made into the computer, but if you take the money, you’re stealing.

For an embezzlement charge to stick, the prosecution has to show that there is a fiduciary relationship between two parties. One party must be reliant on the other. Additionally, the defendant must have obtained the money or property because of the relationship. Finally, the defendant must have taken possession of the property and knowingly misused it.

Source: FindLaw, “Embezzlement Constitutes Aggravated Felony under Immigration Law, and Civil Rights and Securities Matters,” accessed Nov. 29, 2017