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Embezzlement

What the law says

Section 157 of the Crimes Act states:

Whosoever, being a clerk, or servant, fraudulently embezzles, either the whole or any part of, any property delivered to, or received, or taken into possession by him or her, for, or in the name, or on the account of, his or her master, or employer, shall be deemed to have stolen the same, although such property was not received into the possession of such master, or employer, otherwise than by the actual possession of such clerk, or servant, and shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. The accused was the clerk or servant of the person named in the indictment.
2. The accused received the subject property (or the property was delivered to him, or taken into his possession) for, in the name of, or on account of his master or employer.
3. The accused person embezzled such property.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Embezzlement by Clerk or Servant is 10 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

Where the value of the property exceeds $5000, this matter is a Table 1 offence which means that either the DPP or an accused can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.

Where the value of the property does not exceed $5000, this matter is a Table 2 offence which means that the DPP can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

1. Duress
2. Necessity

 

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