top of page


A.R.S. § 13-2310. defines embezzlement as any person who uses a scheme or artifice to defraud and knowingly obtains any benefit by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises or material omissions.  Embezzlement is a Class 2 felony punishable by 3 to 12.5 years in prison for a first time felony offense.  Any person whose embezzlement involved a benefit valued at $100,000.00 or more must basically serve his or her entire prison sentence.


18 U.S.C. § 641 broadly defines embezzlement as whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or disposes of any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, or any property made or being made under contract for the United States or any department or agency thereof or receives, conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to his use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted.  Under 18 U.S.C. § 641, the person is fined or imprisoned not more than 10 years.  If the aggregate value of the property embezzled is $1,000.00 or less, the person is fined or imprisoned not more than 1 year or both.

“Embezzlement cases involve many facts—I love sorting them all out!”  Lisa Witt


An embezzlement charge usually involves complicated facts and complex legal issues.  Lisa is a detail-oriented defense attorney who will thoroughly evaluate your case and determine if one or more of the following potential defense strategies apply:


  • Act described is not embezzlement:  The act described in the indictment may not fit the statutory definition of embezzlement.


  • Lack of intent:  You may not have the intent required to prove embezzlement.


  • Lack of scheme or artifice to defraud:  You may not have used a scheme or artifice to defraud required to embezzle under Arizona law.


  • Property described in federal indictment did not belong to U.S. government:  The federal government may not be able to prove that the property described belonged to the U.S. government.

“It’s possible to receive little or no prison time in a white collar case.”

  Lisa Witt

  • Value of property described in federal indictment was less than $100.00:  The federal government may not be able to prove that the value of the property embezzled was over $100.00.


  • Property described in federal indictment did not lawfully come into your possession or care:  The federal government may be unable to prove that the property lawfully came into your possession or care.


  • Missing or tainted evidence:  Sometimes the government’s evidence is missing or tainted.


  • Government witnesses are not credible:  The government’s witnesses may not be telling the truth about what happened. 


  • Implausibility of government’s story:  The government’s story may be implausible based on the chain of events or other evidence.


  • Law enforcement misconduct:  There may be law enforcement misconduct in investigating the charge, collecting the evidence, interviewing the victim and witnesses, or coercing your confession.


  • Insufficiency of government’s evidence:  The government may have insufficient evidence to prove embezzlement beyond a reasonable doubt.


  • Reduction in number of counts: Each count of your indictment should concern a separate criminal act or victim and not be parts of the same embezzlement count.


  • Exclusion of government’s evidence:  The government may have infringed on your constitutional rights or otherwise acted illegally in obtaining evidence or your confession, so the evidence must be excluded.


  • Prosecutorial misconduct:  The prosecutor may not have disclosed evidence properly, wrongly interviewed victims or witnesses, or committed other misconduct in your case.


  • Possible other defenses to embezzlement:  Depending on the unique facts of your case, there may be other possible defenses.  Lisa employs logical, bottom line analysis while thinking outside the box so she may come up with a novel defense that no other attorney has thought of before.


If you or a loved one is facing a charge of embezzlement, it’s very important to hire an analytical, passionate defense attorney who will fight for you as soon as possible.  Call LisaLaw, LLC or fill out the on-line form for a free case review.

Lisa Witt is a Mesa/Phoenix, Arizona embezzlement defense attorney serving clients facing charges in the East Valley, West Valley, Maricopa County, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Queen Creek, Gilbert, Casa Grande, Surprise, Goodyear, Buckeye, Youngtown, Ahwatukee, Avondale, Tolleson.

embezzlement defenses
bottom of page