Embezzlement in Oklahoma is a one form of property theft that involves a violation of trust. Embezzlement is defined for those in the state of Oklahoma, as well as across the nation, as the unlawful taking of funds or other property by a person who is placed in a position of responsibility over it, but who has no lawful right to take the property for themselves. This means that the person who is stealing the funds has a right to access the property for any number of reasons, but not to take it for themselves, however they do so anyway for their own personal gain.
While embezzlement can happen in a plethora of settings in Oklahoma, many don’t realize that these crimes can be committed in a personal setting as well as professional. If a person is placed in charge of handling the property or money for a friend or family member, then is found to have been taking these funds for their own gain, they can then face embezzlement charges. The penalties that will come with these charges will reflect just how much of the property or money a person has been found to have embezzled in any individual case.
Oklahoma Laws And Penalties
The state of Oklahoma judges embezzlement cases on the amount or value of the property stolen. For cases involving higher property value amounts, harsher charges and penalties will be faced. If the case involves a lesser value amount of money or property, the defendant will then face charges and penalties that fit appropriately with the crime.
- Property valued at $500 or less: In embezzlement cases where the property in question is valued at $500 or less, the defendant may face penalties of a fine not exceeding $1,000 and/or up to 1 year in jail.
- Property valued between $500 and $1,000: If the case involves property found to be valued between $500 and $1,000, a defendant will face a fine of up to $5,000 as well as a potential 1 year jail sentence and restitution.
- Property valued between $1,000 and $25,000: Embezzlement cases involving property valued at between $1,000 and $25,000 will carry penalties of up to 5 years in prison, restitution, and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Property valued at more than $25,000: If the property in an embezzlement case is valued at more than $25,000, the defendant will face the harshest embezzlement penalties in Oklahoma. These penalties will include restitution, a fine not exceeding $10,000, and a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Oklahoma Embezzlement Penalties
Penalties for embezzlement in Oklahoma will depend on what monetary range the property value in the case falls under. Cases that involve property that is valued to be in one of the higher ranges will come with harsher penalties, while those that involve amounts in the lower ranges will involve lesser penalties, but in nearly all cases a person will face fines, restitution, and possible jail or prison sentences.
Restitution is the paying back of a stolen amount, and in cases of embezzlement, this means returning the monetary value of the property in question to its rightful owner.
Statute Of Limitations On Oklahoma
The statute of limitations for embezzlement cases involving public property or funds in the state of Oklahoma is 7 years, meaning a person can face charges up to 7 years after their crime has been committed or discovered. In other cases of embezzlement not involving public funds, the statute of limitations is placed at 5 years.
Key Oklahoma Embezzlement Cases
- Second Defendant Sentenced in Oklahoma Embezzlement Case – A Maud, Oklahoma man was charged with felony embezzlement after stealing more than $50,000 in city funds from his former employer over the course of 2 years from 2007 until 2009. He received a suspended sentence as well as fines and restitution charges.
- Ex-Worker Pleads Guilty in Edmund Church Embezzlement Case – A church business manager is facing embezzlement charges after stealing over $58,000 from the church where he worked. The man was given the option of accepting a 10 year deferred sentence with 90 days in jail and 500 hours of community service or a 5 year suspended sentence as well as 250 hours of community service.
- Local Women Sentenced in Embezzlement Cases – A Snyder, Oklahoma woman will face 20 months in prison, probation, and community service after embezzling over $600,000 from her former employer. A Frederick, Oklahoma woman will face 6 months in prison after stealing more than $62,000 from the bank in which she worked over the course of 3 years from 2007 until 2010.
- Smith Pleads in Embezzlement Case – A former Mercy Memorial Health Center employee plead guilty to embezzling hospital funds after stealing over $31,000 from the hospital in which she worked.