J. Pete Theodocion, Attorney at Law
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The difference between embezzlement and conversion

The traditional stereotype of white-collar criminals is influential executives who embezzle funds for personal use and financial gain. They often are portrayed as business-savvy men who scam their own companies of vast amounts of money. Often, that’s not the case.

In reality, most people in higher management or accounting departments have access to critical corporate funds – making embezzlement a possibility. However, embezzlement involves more than solely taking money from a business.

Power as an advantage

Under Georgia law, embezzlement requires theft of money or property by a person in a position of trust or responsibility for that asset. For example, if an accountant takes cash over accounts they manage, it would classify as embezzlement.

Another example is if an employee in tech support decides to bring home several laptops and sell them online, it would also be charged as embezzlement. The law itself relies on someone in power over a company’s property and taking advantage of that power for personal gain.

Embezzlement laws in Georgia also refer to the conversation as an element of the crime. is strictly defined as the act of changing from one form to use to another or an act of exchanging one kind of property for another. If someone takes funds from a company account and converts it into their income, it is an element of conversion.

Other elements of embezzlement include:

  • Lawfully obtain another person’s funds or property, including leased property
  • Under an agreement or legal obligation for a specific application or use of such property
  • Who knowingly converts the funds or property for their use in violation of the agreement

An embezzlement conviction may lead to severe consequences including years of jail time, so consult with your company’s guidelines about management techniques and what property you are allowed to bring home.

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J. Pete Theodocion, Attorney at Law
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