embezzlement, n. The fraudulent taking of personal property with which one has been entrusted, esp. as a fiduciary. • The criminal intent for embezzlement — unlike larceny and false pretenses — arises after taking possession (not before or during the taking).

— Also termed defalcation; peculation. See LARCENY; FALSE PRETENSES. [Cases: Embezzlement

1. C.J.S. Embezzlement §§ 2–3, 5.] — embezzle, vb. — embezzler, n.

“Embezzlement is not a common-law crime. It is the result of legislative efforts to make provision for an unreasonable gap which appeared in the law of larceny as it developed. Under the early English statute embezzlement was made a misdemeanor, but under most modern American statutes it is either a felony or a misdemeanor depending upon the value of the property converted.” Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N. Boyce, Criminal Law 351 (3d ed. 1982).

“Embezzlement can be defined as the fraudulent conversion of the property of another by one who has lawful possession of the property and whose fraudulent conversion has been made punishable by the statute.” Arnold H. Loewy, Criminal Law in a Nutshell 94 (2d ed. 1987).

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