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Different types of employee theft

At Mark B. Arthur, PC, in Virginia, we often counsel employees who find themselves charged of white collar crimes. Whether you work for a large corporation or a small business, allegations of theft from your employer can be devastating. 

Your employer may be very sensitive about how you use the various company resources that you have access to, even though you may not have any direct contact with the company's finances. Business Practical Knowledge points out that, while you are on the clock, your employer is paying you for your time, so doing nonwork-related tasks while you are at work may cause an issue. You may also regularly use company supplies, or interact with merchandise.

Employee theft offenses related directly to money include the following:

  • Larceny: Outright theft of money or assets from the company
  • Embezzlement: Theft by an employee with legal access to the money or assets being taken
  • Skimming: Taking money or assets before they are recorded as company property
  • Check tampering: Forging a check or reissuing an old check from the company and cashing or depositing it
  • Expense reimbursement scheme: Adding false or nonwork-related expenses to a reimbursement form 

The company's information may be the most valuable of its assets. Using a recipe, a computer code or some other trade secret without your employer's permission could result in a theft charge, even if you are the person who developed it. However, your employer's ownership of your own creations could be a legal gray area if there is no written agreement spelling out the ownership rights.

More information about theft criminal charges is available on our webpage.

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