In the largest known military base theft case, Attorney Tracey Wood's client was acquitted (found not guilty) of federal charges alleging conspiracy and conversion. Three other defendants were convicted and sentenced to Federal prison. Fort McCoy Military Vehicle Theft Acquittal
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Common Law Embezzlement
At common law, embezzlement was defined separately from false pretenses, fraud, larceny, larceny by trick, and theft, but each crime involved a theft - taking the property of another with intent to permanently deprive the owner of that property.
Categorization As a Crime of Theft
Embezzlement is a theft crime. A theft crime is codified under Wisconsin law as a crime against property (rather than a crime against a person or a crime against government).
fraud & theft crimes
Embezzlement can be distringuished from other fradulent crimes because of the relationship between the perpetrator and the property owner. An embezzler is usually employed by the property owner. The employee is entrusted with property owned by the employer, and then at some point in time, the employee decides to steal the property, which is referred to as converting it from its rightful owner.
Employer - Employee Employment Relationships
If the defendant is employed by the property owner at the time of receiving the property and the property owner freely grants the defendant custody of that property, no law is broken. If the defendant later converts the property into his personal use, then the crime of embezzlment is committed. Under Wisconsin law, Wis Statute 943.20, embezzlement is theft by fraud.
The most common type of emblezzment crimes involve employer - employee relationships. Employees are often entrusted with their employer's property. Hence, the strictly law differentiates acts. For example, if an employer's property is placed into a receiving area and then taken differs from if the property was given to the employee directly. The employee's intent differentiates the act; whether an employee intends to return property or permanently deprive the owner of the property differentiates the act. If the employee makes the property available to the employer, and no conversion occurs, the employee's act is not an embezzlement. Conversely, if the employee uses the employer's funds to purchase personal property or services, the employer's property cannot be returned; money must be the exact same dollars (serial numbers included).
Criminal Defense Attorney Wisconsin
Attorney Christopher T. Van Wagner & Attorney Tracey Wood represent people accused, charged or convicted of embezzlment or other property theft crimes by a Wisconsin state government or the United States federal government. The criminal defense attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood exclusively devote their legal firm to criminal defense cases and handle any type of criminal charge or drunk driving offense. In a recent case, Attorney Tracey Wood obtained a not guilty verdict for her client who had been accused of theft by the federal government. In that case, charges included conspiracy and conversion (the act of converting property from its rightful owner to the alleged thief's use). Her client was found not guilty on all counts of all charges, however five other defendants were sentenced to very long prison sentences.
Theft - Property Crimes - Fraud - Embezzlement - Robbery