Am I in trouble

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Am I in trouble

I worked for a car dealership and was receiving spiffs from a vendor on a program that they set up. I received a check every three months that was made out to me. I deposited the checks and never thought anything of it. I left the company last year to pursue my own business. 9 months ago I got word that I was gonna be arrested for embezzlement for the checks. The checks were made out to me. This was not the only vendor paying spiffs and I was not the only employee receiving them. Am I guilty of something.

Asked on May 19, 2009 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm not sure you have anything to worry about here, since nothing has happened in the 9 months since somebody threatened you with arrest for embezzlement.  It might not be a bad idea to talk to a criminal defense attorney, and one place to find a lawyer in your area is our website, http://attorneypages.com

Embezzlement means taking money or property that belongs to your employer, it's a particular form of theft.  So the first question is whether the money was yours, or theirs.  The fact that the check was made out to you is in your favor.  However, if the dealership had a policy that they let you know about, that any spiffs belonged to the company and you were supposed to have signed the checks over to them, then, if they could prove that, you might have a problem.  Still, spiffs are a very common sort of promotion, and it would be very surprising if the dealership didn't know about them all along.  If they knew, and never asked you for the money, it doesn't seem likely that you've committed a crime.  But check with a local attorney, please, and let him or her know all the facts, just to make sure!


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