In the state of Mississippi, embezzlement is a crime that involves the criminal transference of a person’s property by another person who is considered to be in a position of trust. This refers to the conversion of money or other assets that is fraudulently placed into the hands of another person by an employee, volunteer, or other party that has been placed in a position of responsibility for the property. This is often done for personal gain by the person committing the act, and crimes of embezzlement come with lofty penalties in Mississippi.
These crimes can be committed on a personal or professional scale, and some examples of embezzlement are:
- A family member taking funds for their own gain from another relative they are caring for at any time.
- The treasurer of an organization taking money from the account they are in charge of managing.
- An employee in the financial department of a company taking money from various accounts in small increments for their own personal gain.
Acts of embezzlement can be carried out in many different settings or situations, but each act is taken very seriously under Mississippi law. The amount of money or assets a person embezzles with directly correlate with their jail sentence or other type of punishment, and these charges can come with either felony or misdemeanor convictions.
Mississippi Laws And Penalties
Like most states, the penalties in Mississippi regarding embezzlement charges will vary with how much property is in question. Embezzlement cases involving greater value amounts will involve larger penalties and jail sentences, while cases involving lesser value amounts will come with less. Many embezzlement cases are based on whether or not the property was valued at over or under $500, with those over the amount coming with felony charges. The penalties stemming from embezzlement charges are:
- Embezzlement valued at under $500: Those that commit embezzlement of property valued at under $500 will face misdemeanor charges as well as a $1,000 fine that can include up to a 6 month sentence in jail.
- Embezzlement valued at over $500: Those that embezzle funds or other property valued at over $500 will face felony charges that come with a fine of up to $25,000 as well as a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Embezzlement of public funds or trust property is also taken very seriously in the state of Mississippi, and these situations come with their own specific charges and penalties. Embezzlement of public funds is done by a public employee who is entrusted with the care of said property, and these charges will include a fine of up to $5,000 as well as a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Embezzlement of trust property is done by those who manage a trust for another individual with the expectation that the property or funds held in the trust will be returned to the individual at some point in time. These types of embezzlement charges will come with a fine of up to $1,000 as well as a potential 1 year jail sentence.
Statute Of Limitations On Mississippi
While the statute of limitations on the majority of crimes committed in Mississippi is 2 years, embezzlement is exempt from having any statute of limitations at all in the state. A statute of limitations is the maximum period of time allowed to have elapsed before legal action is brought about, and this means that for most crimes committed in the state of Mississippi, a person cannot wait more than two years before taking a case to court after a crime has been committed. However, in cases of Mississippi embezzlement, this statute of limitations does not exist as the law considers these crimes to be of such importance that prosecution should not be limited by time.
Key Mississippi Embezzlement Cases
- Former Bank Employee Sentenced in Embezzlement Case – A bank employee of Waterford, Mississippi, was charged with one count of embezzlement by a bank employee. She was then ordered to pay $327,842.00 in restitution, and will face 30 months in prison.
- Sentencing Postponed in Ridgeland Embezzlement Case – An attorney of Madison County, Mississippi, is facing 3 charges of embezzlement after swindling former clients out of hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of more than 3 years. He is due to face up to a 60 year prison sentence as well as $750,000 in fines.
- Former Moss Point Tax Clerk Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement – A former employee of the Moss Point tax department in Pascagoula, Mississippi, plead guilty to embezzling more than $7,000 from the city in the years 2008 and 2009.
- Ocean Springs School District Employee Indicted in $9k Embezzlement – An employee at the school’s Keys Technology Center was indicted on 4 counts of felony embezzlement charges after taking over $9,000 of the school’s funds.