If they press criminal charges against you this will be a felony. It's embezzlement which is a form of theft
by fraud. See section 76-6-403
of the Utah Code. It would be a third degree felony and would be punishable by anywhere from no jail up to 5 years of prison.
Your employer, if they want, could proceed against you both civilly and criminally. They do not have to choose one way or the other. They could strike a deal with you for their money back plus damages. And they could still go to the prosecutor and have you arrested and punished for your crime.
As these people know you and worked with you, they may be likely to simply fire you and come up with a repayment agreement. But I wanted you to know that they don't have to be that generous.
If they do press charges, and you have no prior contact with the criminal justice
system the odds are very good that you would be placed on probation. If they don't press charges or don't know but want to talk to you more about this, you should retain a lawyer to work out an agreement for you. That way there will be less opportunities for a surprise later down the road and you would want to resolve this matter doing the least harm to your record as would be possible under the circumstances.
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This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your State for specific legal advice.
Edited by FranL on 5/2/2010 at 3:13 AM EST