I have represented a number of employers who had embezzlement issues. Their primary concern is recovering the money. If you are put in jail it becomes harder for them to get paid back because you obviously have no income.
My recommendation is to come up with a repayment plan and go to your employer and confess. Much better than if they discover it.
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.
I agree with Mr. Garcia. You need a criminal attorney immediately in your local area. No one can advise you what kind of punishment might be levied in your local area. Also, even if you pay the money back you have still committed a crime. That does not change by paying back the money. It may help with regard to the company or with sentencing but it doesn't necessarily mean that it will. Call a criminal attorney today.
You should consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. It is risky to go to your employer and offer to repay the theft alone. I've seen employers take the money and then call the police. Good luck.
THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.
Whether or not you have a clean record, you could be facing serious charges. Depending on how much you stole and how you accomplished the thefts, you could be looking at felonies. Paying it back in full may help you with the company, although you will likely still lose your job. Also, paying it back will be proof that the prosecutor can use against you if charges do get filed.
If you have not been keeping careful track of how much you stole and when, the total amount the company claims is likely to be a good deal more than you think it was. Expect this. If you do try to come to a private resolution with the company, this could come into play. My position, generally, is that money can be paid but time in jail is just lost. And a criminal record can be forever.
Do retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you negotiate with the company. I agree with Mr. Kagan that confessing your misdeeds to your company before they discover the problem may help you in the end, since their goal may be simply to get their money back. (A criminal defense attorney will know how to protect you as much as possible from criminal ramifications. You may want to talk to several attorneys with both criminal and civil experience to see how each might go about dealing with this sticky situation.)
If you go to the company (or are called in after they notice the problem) without an attorney, you will likely give statements against your penal interest, which can then be used in the criminal charges against you. If you go to them with an attorney, he can do the talking and negotiating, and may be able to work out a deal that involves no more than you paying them back and losing your job. If you wait until they find out and charges have been filed, your attorney will be negotiating with a prosecutor who may or may not want you in jail for awhile or on probation or both. In addition to paying the company back. If you stole a lot of money, jail or probation with a criminal record may be unavoidable.
Yes, it can be that serious. Do not assume anything else. Go talk to some local attorneys ASAP. Have as much of the money as possible ready to be paid back -- sell stuff if you have to. Their books could be checked at any time and your window of opportunity could disappear.
DISCLAIMER: I do not practice in NE. This answer to a short question is provided solely for general informational purposes and based on general legal principles and court practice. This answer does NOT constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.