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Federal Embezzlement Crimes

As serious as state charges for alleged embezzlement can be, the possible penalties for federal charges relating to the same offense are much more severe. In addition to having far greater resources than their local counterparts, federal prosecutors also have smaller caseloads that allow them much more time to dedicate to pursuing convictions.

Federal cases typically involve the federal government either being the alleged victim of embezzlement or being connected to the case in some other way. Chapter 31 of United States Code Title 18 outlines 30 different categories of embezzlement offenses punishable under federal law.

Lawyer for Federal Embezzlement Crimes in San Antonio, TX

If you have been arrested or believe you could be under investigation for federal charges of alleged embezzlement, it will be critical for you to immediately seek experienced legal representation. Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr defends clients in federal prosecutions across the state of Texas and the United States.

Our San Antonio criminal defense attorneys are admitted to multiple United States District Courts and United States Courts of Appeals as well as the United States Supreme Court. Call 210-226-1463 or complete an online contact form to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.


Bexar County Federal Embezzlement Charges Information Center


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Federal Embezzlement Charges

Embezzlement crimes under federal law include the following:

  • Public money, property or records, 18 U.S. Code § 641 — Alleged offenders who embezzle any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States, any department or agency thereof, or any property made or being made under contract for the United States or any department or agency thereof can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the aggregate value of the property is $1,000 or less. If the aggregate value of the property exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Tools and materials for counterfeiting purposes, 18 U.S. Code § 642 — Alleged offenders who embezzle any tool, implement, or thing used or fitted to be used in stamping or printing, or in making some other tool or implement used or fitted to be used in stamping or printing any kind or description of bond, bill, note, certificate, coupon, postage stamp, revenue stamp, fractional currency note, or other paper, instrument, obligation, device, or document, authorized by law to be printed, stamped, sealed, prepared, issued, uttered, or put in circulation on behalf of the United States can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Accounting generally for public money, 18 U.S. Code § 643 — Officers, employees or agents of the United States or of any department or agency thereof who allegedly embezzle public money can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Banker receiving unauthorized deposit of public money, 18 U.S. Code § 644 — Alleged offenders who are not authorized depositaries of public money and knowingly embezzle public money can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Court officers generally, 18 U.S. Code § 645 — Any employees of United States federal courts who unlawfully retain any money coming into their hands by virtue of their official relations can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 or double the amount embezzled (whichever is greater) and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Court officers depositing registry moneys, 18 U.S. Code § 646 — Any employees of United States federal courts who embezzle or fail to promptly deposit any money belonging in the registry of the court can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 or double the amount embezzled (whichever is greater) and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Receiving loan from court officer, 18 U.S. Code § 647 — Alleged offenders who knowingly receive, from a clerk or other officer of a federal court of the United States, as a deposit, loan, or otherwise, any money belonging in the registry of such court, can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 or double the amount embezzled (whichever is greater) and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Custodians, generally, misusing public funds, 18 U.S. Code § 648 — Any officers or other persons charged by any Act of Congress with the safe-keeping of the public money who embezzle public money can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 or double the amount embezzled (whichever is greater) and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Custodians failing to deposit moneys; persons affected, 18 U.S. Code § 649 — Alleged offenders with money of the United States in their possession or under their control who fail to deposit it as required to do so can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 or double the amount embezzled (whichever is greater) and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Depositaries failing to safeguard deposits, 18 U.S. Code § 650 — The Treasurer of the United States and any employees of the Treasury or other public federal depositories who fail to safely keep money of the United States can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 or double the amount embezzled (whichever is greater) and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Disbursing officer falsely certifying full payment, 18 U.S. Code § 651 — Officers charged with the disbursement of the public moneys who accept, receive, or transmit to the Government Accountability Office to be allowed in their favor any receipt or voucher from a creditor of the United States without having paid the full amount specified therein to such creditor in such funds as the officer received for disbursement, or in such funds as they may be authorized by law to take in exchange, can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 or double the amount embezzled (whichever is greater) and/or sentenced to up to two years in prison.
  • Disbursing officer paying lesser in lieu of lawful amount, 18 U.S. Code § 652 — Officers, clerks, agents, employees, or other people charged with the payment of any appropriation made by Congress who pay to any clerk or other employee of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, a sum less than that provided by law, and require such employees to receipt or give a voucher for an amount greater than that actually paid to and received by them can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 or double the amount embezzled (whichever is greater) and/or sentenced to up to two years in prison.
  • Disbursing officer misusing public funds, 18 U.S. Code § 653 — Disbursing officers of the United States or any department or agency thereof, or people acting as such, who convert to their own use, loans with or without interest, or deposits in any place or in any manner, except as authorized by law, any public money entrusted to them can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 or double the amount embezzled (whichever is greater) and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Officer or employee of United States converting property of another, 18 U.S. Code § 654 — Officers or employees of the United States or of any department or agency thereof who embezzle money or property of another which comes into their possession or under their control in the execution of such office or employment can be fined up to the value of the money and property thus embezzled and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to the value of the money and property thus embezzled and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Theft by bank examiner, 18 U.S. Code § 655 — Bank examiners or assistant examiners who embezzle any money, note, draft, bond, or security or any other property of value in the possession of any bank or banking institution which is a member of the Federal Reserve System, insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a branch or agency of a foreign bank, an organization operating under the Federal Reserve Act, or from any safe deposit box in or adjacent to the premises of such bank, branch, agency, or organization can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to five years in prison.
  • Theft, embezzlement, or misapplication by bank officer or employee, 18 U.S. Code § 656 — Officers, directors, agents, employees, or people 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 the Federal Reserve Act who embezzle any money, funds, or credits of such bank, branch, agency, or organization or holding company can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $1 million and/or sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.
  • Lending, credit and insurance institutions, 18 U.S. Code § 657 — Officers, agents, or employees of or connected in any capacity with a banking institution under the Federal Reserve Act who embezzle any money, funds, credits, securities or other things of value belonging to such institution can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $1 million and/or sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.
  • Property mortgaged or pledged to farm credit agencies, 18 U.S. Code § 658 — Alleged offenders who embezzle any money or property mortgaged, pledged to, or held by the Farm Credit Administration, any Federal intermediate credit bank, or related farm credit agencies can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to five years in prison.
  • Interstate or foreign shipments by carrier; State prosecutions, 18 U.S. Code § 659 — Alleged offenders who embezzle money or property from any conveyance, depot, terminal, or any shipment being transported in interstate or foreign commerce can be fined and/or sentenced to up to three years in prison if the aggregate value of the money, baggage, goods, or chattels is less than $1,000. If the aggregate value of the money, baggage, goods, or chattels is $1,000 or more, alleged offenders can be fined and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Carrier’s funds derived from commerce; State prosecutions, 18 U.S. Code § 660 — Presidents, directors, officers, or managers of any firms, associations, or corporations engaged in commerce as common carriers, or alleged offenders being employees of such common carriers riding in or upon any railroad car, motortruck, steamboat, vessel, aircraft or other vehicle of such carrier moving in interstate commerce who embezzles any of the money, funds, credits, securities, property, or assets of such entities arising from, accruing from, or used in such commerce can be fined and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Within special maritime and territorial jurisdiction, 18 U.S. Code § 661 — Alleged offenders within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States who embezzle any personal property of another can be fined and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the value of the property is $1,000 or less. If the value of the property exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined and/or sentenced to up to five years in prison.
  • Receiving stolen property within special maritime and territorial jurisdiction, 18 U.S. Code § 662 — Alleged offenders within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States who buy, receive, or conceal any money, goods, bank notes, or other thing which has been embezzled from any other person can be fined and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the value of the property is $1,000 or less. If the value of the property exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined and/or sentenced to up to three years in prison.
  • Solicitation or use of gifts, 18 U.S. Code § 663 — Alleged offenders who solicit any gift of money or other property and represent such gift as being solicited for the use of the United States, with the intention of embezzling the money or property donated for the use of the United States can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to five years in prison.
  • Theft or embezzlement from employee benefit plan, 18 U.S. Code § 664 — Alleged offenders who embezzle any money, funds, securities, premiums, credits, property, or other assets of any employee welfare benefit plan, employee pension benefit plan, or of any fund connected therewith can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to five years in prison.
  • Theft or embezzlement from employment and training funds, 18 U.S. Code § 665 — Officers, directors, agents, employees of, or alleged offenders connected in any capacity with any agency or organization receiving financial assistance or any funds under title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act or title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 who knowingly embezzles any money, funds, assets, or property which are the subject of a financial assistance agreement or contract pursuant to such Act can be fined and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less. If the amount embezzled exceeds $1,000, alleged offenders can be fined and/or sentenced to up to two years in prison.
  • Theft or bribery concerning programs receiving Federal funds, 18 U.S. Code § 666 — Agents of organizations, or of state, local, Indian tribal governments, or any agencies thereof receiving, in any one year period, benefits in excess of $10,000 under a Federal program involving a grant, contract, subsidy, loan, guarantee, insurance, or other form of Federal assistance, who embezzle property that is valued at $5,000 or more and is owned by or is under the care, custody, or control of such organization, government, or agency can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Theft of livestock, 18 U.S. Code § 667 — Alleged offenders who obtain or use the property of another which has a value of $10,000 or more in connection with the marketing of livestock in interstate or foreign commerce can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to five years in prison.
  • Theft of major artwork, 18 U.S. Code § 668 — Alleged offenders who steal or obtain by fraud from the care, custody, or control of a museum any object of cultural heritage—defined as an object that is over 100 years old and worth in excess of $5,000 or worth at least $100,000—or knowing that an object of cultural heritage has been stolen or obtained by fraud, receive, conceal, exhibit, or dispose of the object, can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Theft or embezzlement in connection with health care, 18 U.S. Code § 669 — Alleged offenders who knowingly and willfully embezzle any money, funds, securities, premiums, credits, property, or other assets of a health care benefit program can be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up to one year in prison if the value of such property does not exceed the sum of $100. If the value of such property exceeds the sum of $100, alleged offenders can be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Theft of medical products, 18 U.S. Code § 670 — Alleged offenders who embezzle pre-retail medical products can be fined and/or sentenced to up to three years in prison. If the value of the medical products involved in the offense is $5,000 or greater, an alleged offender can be fined and/or sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. If the alleged offender is employed by, or is an agent of, an organization in the supply chain for the pre-retail medical product, or the alleged violation involves the use of violence, force, or a threat of violence or force, involves the use of a deadly weapon, or is subsequent to a prior conviction for an offense under this section, and alleged offender can be fined and/or sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. If the alleged violation results in serious bodily injury or death, including serious bodily injury or death resulting from the use of the medical product involved, an alleged offender can be fined and/or sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

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Sentencing in Federal Embezzlement Cases

If an alleged offender is convicted of federal embezzlement charges, federal sentencing guidelines established by the United States Sentencing Commission will help determine the length of the sentence imposed. Guidelines typically take into account an alleged offender’s criminal history and the conduct associated with the offense.

A higher Offense Level will result in a longer sentence, and the Base Offense Level for embezzlement crimes is set at six. Embezzlement crimes involving a loss of $5,000 or less stay at the same Base Offense Level of six, but Offense Levels increase with greater losses. A case involving a loss of more than $400 million will add 30 to the alleged offender’s Offense Level.

The number of victims also plays a critical role in determining an alleged offender’s Offense Level. After a guideline range has been determined, a judge may still depart from sentencing recommendations but has to provide in writing the reasons for doing so.


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Texas Resources for Federal Embezzlement

Moore v. United States — George S. Moore was convicted of embezzling $1,652.59 from the United States post office in Mobile, Alabama. The United States Supreme Court reversed that decision based on there being no direct allegation that Moore was an assistant, clerk, or employee in or connected with the business or operations of the post office at Mobile, that the money of the United States was not identified or described, and that there was no allegation that the money came into the possession of Moore by virtue of his employment. In its 1895 decision, the Supreme Court defined embezzlement in the following terms:

Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom such property has been intrusted, or into whose hands it has lawfully come. It differs from larceny in the fact that the original taking of the property was lawful, or with the consent of the owner, while in larceny the felonious intent must have existed at the time of the taking.

Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 2B1.1 — Review the chapter on federal sentencing guidelines dedicated to embezzlement and other basic economic offenses. The chapter covers the Base Offense Level, specific offense characteristics, and cross references. You can also read the accompanying commentary that discusses definitions, enhancements, and applications of subsections.


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Find a Lawyer in San Antonio for Federal Embezzlement Charges

Are you facing federal charges in Texas for alleged embezzlement? It is in your best interest to immediately contact Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr. The attorneys at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr also represent clients charged with embezzlement under Texas law in state court.

Our San Antonio criminal defense attorneys have been representing clients accused of felony offenses since 1968. You can receive a full review of your case during a free, confidential consultation as soon as you call 210-226-1463 today.