What is Fund Misappropriation in Texas?

The term “misappropriation of funds” is talked about quite a bit, but what does it actually mean? Generally speaking, misappropriation of funds is any act that results in money being used in a manner in which it is not intended to be. In many cases, it results in an embezzlement charge, which is the taking of property that belongs to one’s employer, or larceny charge, which involves someone taking something that he or she has no right whatsoever to possess.


Intent to Misappropriate Funds

As with most crimes, the act of misusing cash requires the prosecution to prove intent. This means that the actor must have willingly and knowingly used the cash for illicit use. Simply making a mistake in bookkeeping is not considered intent, but deliberately falsifying records in order to conceal how dollars are being used could be.

In showing intent, an individual could be guilty of fund misappropriation even if no money actually changed hands. This would likely result in someone being charged with conspiracy, which can also levy heavy prison time and fines in addition to providing damage to one’s reputation.


Misusing Money: Is It a Felony or Misdemeanor?

Cash misappropriation can be charged as a misdemeanor crime or felony crime, depending on the circumstances. When deciding how to prosecute a case, the state of Texas will look at a number of  factors:

  • The amount of money in question
  • The number of instances in which funds weren’t used for their intended purpose
  • Extent of damage caused by the misuse of cash

Those who are accused of this criminal offense should not assume the matter will be treated lightly. Instead, defendants should seek legal counsel, preferably as soon as they are aware that an investigation is being conducted.

Call Rand Mintzer at 713-862-8880 for answers to all of your questions about fund misuse.