Like the other offenses listed below, embezzlement is basically a combination of theft and betrayal. As a result, even though embezzlement charges are nonviolent crimes, these offenses are quite serious.

Usually, an embezzlement lawyer near you resolves these charges like Albert McKenzie’s lawyer resolved embezzlement charges against his client in 1881. In a plea bargain agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop felony embezzlement charges if McKenzie pleaded guilty to misdemeanor embezzlement charges. The McKenzie plea bargain was one of the first ones in American courts.[1] Today, plea bargains resolve over 95 percent of criminal cases.[2]

Plea bargaining is not surrendering. Instead, negotiated plea bargains end cases earlier and give defendants much more control over the outcome.

So, an influential lawyer near you for embezzlement charges must be a good negotiator. Being a good negotiator means preparing a case as if it will go all the way to trial. Then, good negotiators know when to compromise and when to stand firm. Only lawyers with all these skills can favorably resolve embezzlement and other complex criminal cases.


In 2016, the Supreme Court refused to hear former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich’s final appeal of his bribery convictions, effectively leaving a broad definition of bribery in place.[3] Earlier, a court convicted Blagojevich on multiple counts after the former governor allegedly tried to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat when he was elected President.

Blagojevich pointed out that he didn’t ask for anything specific. Indeed, a court of appeals threw out a few convictions on that basis. But the bribery convictions remained in place. So, political horse-trading could be illegal bribery of a public official.

Credit Card Fraud

As credit and debit card use exploded, these cases were rampant in the 1980s and 1990s. Then, chip technology drastically reduced credit card fraud. Google/Apple Pay technology reduced credit card fraud cases even further.

Nevertheless, prosecutors still actively pursue CNP (card not present) fraud. Credit card fraud penalties are higher if the offense has some embezzlement similarities (e.g., the defendant stole a company credit card or used the card for unauthorized purposes).

That last point raises an interesting issue in credit card and other fraud matters. Consent is effective until revoked. If Alice’s boss lets her buy plane tickets with a company credit card once, she may keep doing sp until her boss tells Alice to stop.

Criminal Tax Fraud

Tax fraud has several layers. Nonpayment of taxes and civil tax fraud, which is usually omitting an income stream, don’t have embezzlement qualities. Criminal tax fraud is different. Prosecutors often file these charges if the taxpayer used an LLC shell, offshore account, or other such vehicle to hide money.

Criminal tax fraud also resembles embezzlement in terms of penalties. The taxing authority usually just wants the money in nonpayment and civil fraud claims. But if the taxpayer committed criminal fraud, the taxing authority usually wants the money and wants to see the taxpayer do some jail time.


Generally, forgery has the same betrayal/theft combination. Altering a prescription label is a good example.

If Frank gives Bill a few leftover sleeping pills, and Bill gets caught with these pills, Bill might face minor charges. But if Bill alters a prescription label, perhaps changing the name or number of allowed refills, he could face much more serious charges.

Incidentally, in the first part of that example, Frank could face drug trafficking charges even though no money changed hands.

Identity Theft

Of all similar crimes of embezzlement, identity theft might be the most unsettling one. Large-scale data breaches garner most of the headlines in this area. But most identity theft crimes are more personal.

Old-fashioned dumpster diving might be the most common form of identity theft. Unscrupulous restaurant workers often have unfettered access to credit card information. Careless people sometimes leave receipts or credit card statements lying around.

Online impersonation is another common form of identity theft. Frequently, anyone with a username and password can pretend to be anyone else.

Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud has several forms, like other kinds of fraud, and could involve anyone involved in a medical, car, or other insurance claim.

  • Providers: Higher-level professionals, like doctors, often delegate tasks to other professionals, like nurses, and then bill the insurance company for a doctor-provided service. Coding fraud (“accidentally” entering the wrong code for a medical service) is also common.
  • Claimants: The scoop-and-squat auto insurance fraud is widespread in no-fault auto insurance states like New York. Driver A cuts off Driver B in traffic, Driver A slams on his/her brakes, and Driver C pulls beside Driver B to ensure that s/he cannot change lanes.
  • Policyholders: Employer workers’ compensation fraud is a good example. Many employers lie on insurance forms, usually about payroll size or worker activities. Large payrolls and risky worker activities mean large premium payments.

All these kinds of insurance fraud involve theft, usually monetary theft and betrayal, generally lying on an official form.

Mortgage Fraud

In the previous fraud section, we looked at some specific examples. In this fraud section, we’ll examine some general fraud principles.

People commit fraud when they lie about a material fact, hoping for financial gain.

Fraud is like embezzlement in that there’s a combination of theft and betrayal. But fraud isn’t as cut and dried as embezzlement.

People make mistakes. Furthermore, not everyone lies in order to get something. A Rochester criminal defense lawyer often uses these gray areas to resolve fraud matters and other white-collar criminal cases successfully.

Frequently, as far as prosecutors are concerned, an arrest record and an unwanted trip through the criminal justice system are sufficient criminal punishments for fraud and other embezzlement-related cases. Therefore, the aforementioned plea bargains in these cases usually include deferred disposition. If defendants successfully complete deferred disposition probation, the judge wipes the conviction off their permanent records.

Get Help with Embezzlement Charges in Rochester NY

There’s a big difference between a criminal arrest and a criminal conviction. Contact the Law Office of Frank Ciardi for a free consultation with an experienced Rochester traffic violation attorney. We routinely handle matters in Monroe County and nearby jurisdictions.






The information in this blog is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.

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