The Economic Crimes Division prosecutes a wide variety of theft crimes. Among the crimes prosecuted is embezzlement.

This page is designed to assist the public in preparing the documents and information necessary to enable law enforcement and prosecutors to determine if an embezzlement crime occurred and whether it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

What is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted (Penal Code sections 503 & 508). Typically, this is someone employed by you to handle bookkeeping responsibilities for your business. Instead of using the company's payroll system or checking or credit card account for legitimate company business, the individual uses these accounts to steal by directing the money to his or her own accounts or to pay for personal expenses.

Embezzlers use various methods to divert the company's money and they use all kinds of ways to hide their activities. As a result, many times these cases can be complex and difficult to prove.

Remember, no one knows more about the inner-workings of your business and how the embezzlement occurred than you do. It will be necessary for the investigator, the deputy district attorney, the judge, and possibly the jury, to understand what occurred. They will rely on the facts and documents you provide and will need as much detail as possible.

These cases rely heavily on your ability, as the victim, to provide sufficient documentation to support the thorough and successful prosecution of the case. Please use the resources provided here to help you better understand what you can do to help strengthen your case. Documenting and organizing the material is critical.

We have provided a video and links to the forms that will help you prepare and organize your evidence. After gathering and completeing forms, it will be necessary to submit the package to your local law enforcement agency.

Our goal is to fairly and ethically prosecute those who steal from you. However, we need your help to do so.

See how to begin gathering your documentation for supporting an embezzlement prosecution in this video.