Embezzlement is the act and result of embezzling. This verb, coming from the Italian word defalcare, alludes to appropriating funds that had to be guarded or managed. Action can also refer to taking away someone’s trust or favor.
Embezzlement occurs when a person misappropriates something. The person who commits the embezzlement commits fraud by not complying with the custody obligations that he had over the securities in question.
First of all, let’s see a brief definition of the concept of fraud, in order to provide more context on which to base ourselves: broadly speaking, we can say that it is the opposite of an attitude characterized by rectitude and defense of the truth. If we are in the field of law, then it is correct to state that a fraud of law causes harm to a third party.
If we compare the concept of fraud with that of fraud, its main difference is that it covers a broader range of situations than the second, which is defined as a crime against assets or property. In the particular case of embezzlement, it can be defined as a class of financial fraud, which has certain very specific characteristics, which are set out below.
According to the definition provided by the National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Financial Services Users, a government agency belonging to Mexico that is known by the acronym Condusef, financial fraud is an action that someone (either a natural person or a legal one) is carried out with the aim of receiving a benefit as a result of the damage it causes to the economy of a third party. In general, to make financial fraud effective, personal data of the victims is sought.
Among the most common examples in everyday life are the erroneous charges that we often find on bank statements. The bank offers us a financial service, and when it takes advantage of our funds for improper use, it can be said that it commits embezzlement. In some cases, the scare is even greater, such as when we discover that our account is empty, even though we should have all our savings in it.
Current technologies make embezzlement easier than ever, since our personal data is highly exposed to theft, even though large companies promise us unprecedented degrees of security.
The embezzlement can be linked to public resources or private funds. This means that the individual can keep funds that belong to the State or with money from the private sector. When the crime is based on seizing assets in custody for private use, it is called misappropriation. The embezzlement committed by an official of state assets, on the other hand, is typified as embezzlement of public funds.
The classification of embezzlement, therefore, varies according to the code in question. At a general level, it can be affirmed that it consists of fraudulently staying with the property of a possession that another subject lawfully had. In short, it is a crime committed against property: the legitimate owner can no longer dispose of his property due to the illicit action of the other.
Suppose an employee has to manage the money of his company and pay the workers’ wages, buy supplies for the office, pay taxes, etc. This person, instead of fulfilling his obligations, appropriates the funds, pays nothing and puts the company in debt. When this situation comes to light, the employee is accused of embezzlement.