Employee theft is the unlawful taking of an employer’s property for the use of another. Employee theft is often prosecuted under petit theft and grand theft, depending on the total dollar value of the theft. Both federal and Florida law include heavy fines and severe criminal penalties, including potential mandatory/minimum sentences of up to 25 years and maximum potential sentences of up to LIFE. Mr. Petruzzi has represented numerous individuals charged with, or under investigation for, employee theft offenses by both federal and state authorities. His experience and knowledge serves as an invaluable asset to his clients.
To arrange for a free and confidential consultation with respect to any federal or state employee theft offense, contact our office at 305-330-1774.
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Federal employee theft offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various agencies, including the FBI, IRS, and the Department of Justice. Some common federal statutes criminalizing employee theft include:
18 USC Sec. 656 –
Whoever, being an officer, director, agent or employee of, or connected in any capacity with any Federal Reserve bank, member bank, depository institution holding company, national bank, insured bank, branch or agency of a foreign bank, or organization operating under section 25 or section 25(a) (1) of the Federal Reserve Act, or a receiver of a national bank, insured bank, branch, agency, or organization or any agent or employee of the receiver, or a Federal Reserve Agent, or an agent or employee of a Federal Reserve Agent or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, embezzles, abstracts, purloins or willfully misapplies any of the moneys, funds or credits of such bank, branch, agency, or organization or holding company or any moneys, funds, assets or securities entrusted to the custody or care of such bank, branch, agency, or organization, or holding company or to the custody or care of any such agent, officer, director, employee or receiver, shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both; but if the amount embezzled, abstracted, purloined or misapplied does not exceed $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
18 USC Sec. 665 –
(a) Whoever, being an officer, director, agent, or employee of, or connected in any capacity with any agency or organization receiving financial assistance or any funds under the Job Training Partnership Act or title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 knowingly enrolls an ineligible participant, embezzles, willfully misapplies, steals, or obtains by fraud any of the
moneys, funds, assets, or property which are the subject of a financial assistance agreement or contract pursuant to such Act shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both; but if the amount so embezzled, misapplied, stolen, or obtained by fraud does not exceed $1,000, such person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
(b) Whoever, by threat or procuring dismissal of any person from employment or of refusal to employ or refusal to renew a contract of employment in connection with a financial assistance agreement or contract under the Job Training Partnership Act or title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 induces any person to give up any money or thing of any value to any person (including such organization or agency receiving funds) shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
(c) Whoever willfully obstructs or impedes or willfully endeavors to obstruct or impede, an investigation or inquiry under the Job Training Partnership Act or title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, or the regulations thereunder, shall be punished by a fine under this title, or by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Florida employee theft offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various state and local law enforcement agencies. Some common Florida statutes criminalizing employee theft include:
(1) A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:
(a) Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.
(b) Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.
(2) (a) 1. If the property stolen is valued at $100,000 or more or is a semitrailer that was deployed by a law enforcement officer; or
2. If the property stolen is cargo valued at $50,000 or more that has entered the stream of interstate or intrastate commerce from the shipper’s loading platform to the consignee’s receiving dock; or
3. If the offender commits any grand theft and:
a. In the course of committing the offense the offender uses a motor vehicle as an instrumentality, other than merely as a getaway vehicle, to assist in committing the offense and thereby damages the real property of another; or
b. In the course of committing the offense the offender causes damage to the real or personal property of another in excess of $1,000, the offender commits grand theft in the first degree, punishable as a felony of the first degree, as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) 1. If the property stolen is valued at $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000;
2. The property stolen is cargo valued at less than $50,000 that has entered the stream of interstate or intrastate commerce from the shipper’s loading platform to the consignee’s receiving dock;
3. The property stolen is emergency medical equipment, valued at $300 or more, that is taken from a facility licensed under chapter 395 or from an aircraft or vehicle permitted under chapter 401; or
4. The property stolen is law enforcement equipment, valued at $300 or more, that is taken from an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in s. 316.003, the offender commits grand theft in the second degree, punishable as a felony of the second degree, as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Emergency medical equipment means mechanical or electronic apparatus used to provide emergency services and care as defined in s.395.002(9) or to treat medical emergencies. Law enforcement equipment means any property, device, or apparatus used by any law enforcement officer as defined in s. 943.10 in the officer’s official business. However, if the property is stolen within a county that is subject to a state of emergency declared by the governor under chapter 252, the theft is committed after the declaration of emergency is made, and the perpetration of the theft is facilitated by conditions arising from the emergency, the theft is a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this paragraph, the term “conditions arising from the emergency” means civil unrest, power outages, curfews, voluntary or mandatory evacuations, or a reduction in the presence of or response time for first responders or homeland security personnel. For purposes of sentencing under chapter 921, a felony offense that is reclassified under this paragraph is ranked one level above the ranking under s. 921.0022 or s.921.0023 of the offense committed.
1. Valued at $300 or more, but less than $5,000.
2. Valued at $5,000 or more, but less than $10,000.
3. Valued at $10,000 or more, but less than $20,000.
4. A will, codicil, or other testamentary instrument.
5. A firearm.
6. A motor vehicle, except as provided in paragraph (a).
7. Any commercially farmed animal, including any animal of the equine, bovine, or swine class or other grazing animal; a bee colony of a registered beekeeper; and aquaculture species raised at a certified aquaculture facility. If the property stolen is aquaculture species raised at a certified aquaculture facility, then a $10,000 fine shall be imposed.
8. Any fire extinguisher.
9. Any amount of citrus fruit consisting of 2,000 or more individual pieces of fruit.
10. Taken from a designated construction site identified by the posting of a sign as provided for in s. 810.09(2)(d).
11. Any stop sign.
12. Anhydrous ammonia.
13. Any amount of a controlled substance as defined in s. 893.02. Notwithstanding any other law, separate judgments and sentences for theft of a controlled substance under this subparagraph and for any applicable possession of controlled substance offense under s. 893.13 or trafficking in controlled substance offense under s. 893.135 may be imposed when all such offenses involve the same amount or amounts of a controlled substance.