Embezzlement is a type of property theft that is done by a person who is in a position of responsibility. When a person placed in charge of handling funds or other types of property takes what they are in charge of for their own personal gain, the crime of embezzlement is committed, and the state of Montana has harsh penalties in place to punish those who commit these types of crimes. What sets embezzlement aside from other types of theft related crimes is that the person taking the funds has to have legal and rightful access to the property of another individual, rather than in other cases of theft where the person stealing the property has no responsibility over it.
There are various situations where embezzlement can occur, from banking situations, to those involving raising funds for an organization or other entity. One example of embezzlement would be a treasurer for an organization raising funds and handling funds for a cause or business, and taking small amounts of these funds over and over again throughout the course of their daily business for their own personal use.
Montana Laws And Penalties
In the state of Montana, a person’s penalties for embezzlement will depend on the monetary value of their crime. Those who are charged with embezzling a greater amount will face harsher penalties, while those who are charged with embezzling a lesser amount will face penalties that reflect their crime. Montana embezzlement laws and penalties include:
- Property valued at $1,500 or less: For an embezzlement charge placed on a person with no prior convictions, who has embezzled property valued at $1,500 or less, they will face a fine of up to $1,500, and/or up to 6 months in jail. If the person is found to have prior convictions, they may expect to spend at least 30 days in jail as well as a fine of $1,500.
- Property valued at between $1,500 and $10,000: For those charged with embezzlement of property valued between $1,500 and $10,000, harsher penalties will be faced. For these crimes, a person can face up to 10 years in prison as well as a fine that can go as high as $50,000. Not all cases involve both penalties, however, and it is possible that a person can be faced with jail time or a fine, rather than both.
- Property valued at more than $10,000: For extreme cases of embezzlement that includes property valued at over $10,000, a person will face at least 1 year in prison, with the potential to face as many as 10, as well as a fine of $50,000. In these cases, those convicted may also face restitution charges as well as probation.
Montana Embezzlement Penalties
In Montana embezzlement cases, a defendant can face jail time as well as fines, and these penalties directly correlate with the severity of the crimes committed. Much like many other states across the nation, Montana has monetary ranges that certain charges and penalties will fall under, and a person can expect certain charges as well as penalties should their crime fall under a specific range.
Statute Of Limitations On Montana
The statute of limitations on embezzlement in the state of Montana is the period of time that is allowed to have passed when criminal charges can be brought against a defendant. In Montana, this can be either 1-5 years depending on the facts surrounding the case, and this means that the act of embezzlement had to have happened within this time frame for criminal charges to be pressed.
Often if the crime is considered to be a felony, the statute of limitations is longer than those that are considered to be of the misdemeanor level.
Key Montana Embezzlement Cases
- Missoula Woman Must Pay $1 million in Bank Embezzlement Case – A woman from Missoula Montana is charged with embezzling more than $800,000 from the First National Bank of Montana and faces 3 years and 8 months in a federal prison.
- Montana Bookkeeper Reaches Plea Deal in Embezzlement Case – A Montana woman who worked as a bookkeeper for Jesco Marine and Power Sports is charged with embezzling over $155,000 from her former employer over the course of 17 years. She faces a 10 year suspended prison sentence as well as restitution to her former employer and assorted fines.
- Malta Bank Officer Sentenced in Embezzlement Case – A former Malta area bank officer and vice president of operations at the First Security Bank of Malta is charged with embezzling around $3.7 million over the course of a number of years in order to pay back personal debts. The woman received a 110 month prison sentence, a 3 year probation sentence, and an order to pay back $3.8 million in restitution.