How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27749
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Im an account manager for a maintenance company, about 2 months

This answer was rated:

I'm an account manager for a maintenance company, about 2 months ago I created a ghost employee on payroll and now my regional managers and the owner of the company is aware of it but they haven't talked to me about it. Before all this happened I was offered another position in the company and I accepted it so they brought in another manager for me to train but now, I believe they are just waiting for me to finish training him before I am fired and possibly charged. The money taken was around $3,300, the only reason why I started doing this was out of desperation, my account has been short staffed for months, all because employee pay rates are way below average for my region so it's nearly impossible to hire new employees so to keep the account afloat and to retain current employees I started giving employees bonuses based on work performance, I was only able to give them $1,300 out of the $3,000 because the manager in training came on property so it would look suspicious if he was to find out, I still have the other $2,000 in uncashed checks. My question is, should I come forward to my bosses? Should I wait until they come to me? What kind of charges could I be facing if convicted? Even though my bosses are aware that this was happening I don't think they have any idea how much I took or since when this is happening, they could be thinking that I've been doing this since the start of my employment 3 years ago, which is not the case.

Hello Jacustomer,

This is embezzlement, which is a fraud/theft offense. If you took more than $1,000 but less than $20,000, it is a class 4 felony in Colorado That has a minimum penalty of a year in prison and a maximum of 12.

So it would not be a good idea to come forward with what you have done. You should instead start looking for a local criminal lawyer, because if/when you are confronted with this, you should have representation before you talk to HR or to the police.

The fact that you used these to pay bonuses to company workers rather than for your own personal gain counts in your favor, but it's still money you had no authority to take.

Despite the penalty possibilities, the odds are very high that if you are charged with this your lawyer would be able to negotiate a probation offer. The company will want its money back, and they have a better chance of getting it if you are at liberty. But you don't want to have this kind of an offense on your record if at all possible to avoid it -- it is the type of an offense that will make securing another job very difficult. So exercising your right against self incrimination will allow your lawyer flexibility when he's negotiating for you. A confession to your employers would tie his hands if the matter comes to court and result in a less favorable dispostion.


Don't talk about this without a lawyer.

Zoey_ JD and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Fran,


Would a criminal lawyer be able to talk to the company without incriminating myself? Before criminal charges are filed that is.


Yes, you could negotiate through a lawyer who would keep your identity secret for purposes of working out a payback solution. Once you're charged it would be too late for that, since it could be construed as witness tampering, which would subject you to further charges.