Proving Embezzlement Part-1
It's sometimes easier said than done.

Tribuzi v. Commonwealth, 487 S.E.2d 870 (1997)

Background. What do you do when you suspect that an employee or volunteer has embezzled church funds, but you can't prove it? How much evidence do you need before you accuse or remove the person? If the person is prosecuted for the crime of embezzlement, what kind of evidence is needed for a conviction? A Virginia court addressed some of these questions, and its decision provides helpful guidance to church treasurers and other church leaders.

The Virginia case. A hospital operated a cafeteria. At the end of each day, cashiers would count the money in the cash registers, report the amount on "face sheets," and then deposit the money in a safe. The next morning, an employee (the "defendant") opened the safe, counted the money, reported this amount on a deposit slip, placed the money in a bank bag, and gave it to a member of the hospital's security staff for deposit at a bank. Other employees had access to the safe, and were authorized to perform the same responsibilities as the defendant.

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Posted: September 1, 1999
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