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Expense account access could lead to embezzlement charges

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2022 | White Collar Crimes

Operating a business means accepting constantly shifting demands and financial needs. Some companies very carefully monitor every time an employee uses company resources or asks for reimbursement for personal expenses. Other businesses are a bit more lenient, giving workers access to expense accounts or company credit cards.

Such financial privileges make it easier for salespeople, executives and even human resources professionals to do their jobs. However, anyone with access to company resources or the option of requesting reimbursement could find themselves accused of embezzlement.

When personal spending could lead to criminal charges

You can expect your employer to reimburse you for gas if you drive as part of your job or for other expenses you incur, such as the cost of taking a customer out for a meal at a restaurant. Employees with access to expense accounts or company credit cards can make decisions about when to utilize those resources. Many others can simply submit receipts to human resources or accounting for reimbursement after spending their own money for a work-related purpose.

You could easily find yourself facing criminal embezzlement charges if your employer takes issue with how you have used the company account, despite others engaging in what seems to be the same actions. Even if the business has long turned a blind eye to workers misusing their company charge cards, a company facing an audit may feel compelled to crack down on such practices.

Some companies blame workers when no misconduct occurred

Perhaps you received training from someone who told you that you could use the card for up to a certain amount of personal expenses annually or a single personal charge each month. Maybe what at first appears like a personal expense is actually a cost incurred while doing your job.

There are many ways for an individual accused of embezzlement to defend themselves against those charges. From explaining the situation in depth to reviewing and better analyzing the financial evidence, there could be multiple strategies that help someone avoid a criminal conviction and possibly improve their relationship with their employer after accusations of embezzlement.

Understanding behaviors that could lead to white-collar criminal charges can help professionals avoid making mistakes that implicate themselves.