What is the difference between larceny and embezzlement?
Get Legal Help Today
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Feb 20, 2013
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
The major difference between larceny and embezzlement is the way in which the property changes hands. With larceny, the property is carried away; it was never in the possession of the perpetrator. With embezzlement, however, the perpetrator has lawfully possessed the property, but then has converted it into his/her own property.
The following example illustrates the difference. A man walks onto a construction site and takes a hammer and goes home. He has committed larceny, because he has taken someone else’s property away, with the intent never to return it. A construction worker on that same site, who uses the hammer every day, puts it in his pocket at the end of the day and takes it home. He has committed embezzlement, because it was in his possession to use while he worked on the site, but when he took it off the site, he converted it into his own property.