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What is considered embezzlement from a vulnerable adult?

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2022 | White Collar Crime |

Embezzlement is a type of fraud that involves taking money that belongs to someone else and using it for your own benefit. Embezzlement is a serious crime and the penalties involved are major, especially when the victim is a vulnerable adult.

Michigan law defines embezzlement from a vulnerable adult as using deceit, misrepresentation, fraud, unjust enrichment, or coercion to acquire or try to acquire a vulnerable adult’s money or property. If you were aware that your victim was a vulnerable adult, you may be convicted of this crime.

Who is a vulnerable adult?

A vulnerable adult is generally defined as someone over age 18 who is elderly, incapacitated, or suffers from physical or mental illness and cannot meet their own needs.

Embezzlement from a vulnerable adult is a felony if the money or property taken has a value of more than $1,000. There are serious penalties involved with embezzlement from a vulnerable adult felony conviction, including up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

The exact penalty depends on the value of the amount taken; however, the prosecutor could ask for an enhanced sentence if you have even one prior conviction on your record.

Mounting an aggressive defense

With so much at stake, it’s important to build a strong defense against this type of charge. One of the elements the prosecution must prove is knowledge. You must have not only intended to take the money or property, but you must have intended to take it from a vulnerable adult.

Criminal charges, especially for serious crimes like this one, can destroy an entire life. Aside from the potential fines and jail time, a criminal conviction can cost you future employment opportunities and ruin your reputation. A legal professional can thoroughly examine the prosecution’s evidence and advise you on a defense strategy.