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Embezzlement: What Happens to Stolen or Embezzled Property?


Embezzlement as defined by the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) is a type of theft crime where the thief steals money or properties of the company for their own good. Common examples are taking money from the cash registrar and keeping goods to be taken home later. There also are other unfamiliar acts of embezzlement like not paying for the car you rented.

Punishment for embezzlement in Nevada depends on the value of the property stolen. If it is less than $650, penalties of misdemeanor will be imposed. However, if it is more than $650 but not above $3,500, it is a category C felony with penalties such as one to five years of prison time and a fine that is at least $10,000. A category B felony is something you will have to face if what you embezzled costs more than $3,500 in value. This category has penalties involving up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Once a suspect is charged with penalties, it might sound all good and settled. But there remains a question—what happens to the stolen or embezzled money or property? Is it returned to the victims? Or are they converted to another form e.g. restitution? On this post, we will be talking about what happens to stolen or embezzled property and how you can get them back under your possession.

What happens when someone is caught embezzling?

Now, let us have this scenario: You are a store owner and you are noticing that money is missing from cash registrar or that your inventory is running short because items are suddenly vanishing. To investigate, you installed surveillance cameras all around the stores or right at the cash registrar. You have found the culprit of embezzlement: your store’s very own cashier. You report it to the police and an arrest ensued. This is the usual procedure followed by the suspect being apprehended and then put under trial. If the money or the property is right at the hand of the suspect or stored somewhere, the police would have to recover it for evidence.

So to be clear, you do not get the money or property back, at least for a while. This is because it will be used to prove the defendant guilty of embezzlement. But this should not be for too long as according to NRS Chapter 179, particularly in the section titled Disposal of Property Stolen or Embezzled, the embezzled property will be given back to the owner through the order of a magistrate upon the conviction of the suspect.

How do you get the embezzled money or properties back?

With the information mentioned in the last paragraph, we can say that you really do not have to do anything to get your embezzled money or property back (aside from certain undemanding actions) as it will be given back automatically, granted that they are recovered in proper conditions. According to NRS 179.125, a peace officer will have custody of your embezzled money or property once they were retrieved. Additionally in NRS 179.135, a magistrate will order the delivery of what is rightfully yours. Know that you will have to pay some necessary fees to secure the possession of the embezzled money or property.

This section also states that owners should be notified once the embezzled money or property is finally discovered by the police. NRS 179.165 instructs that “notice must be provided by law enforcement agency to owner, pawnbroker and other interested persons” through mail and in the following moments of the case:

  • Conviction of the defendant
  • When there are no plans to prosecute
  • The case is terminated

Failure to claim the embezzled money or property within six months will mean the turnover to the county treasurer or sheriff of the metropolitan police where they will be put up for auction, be given to charity, or ultimately be destroyed if they are deemed illegal or harmful.

In Las Vegas, there are estimated 1 million unclaimed items in the evidence vault. Most of these items extracted from burglars or embezzlers who ran away from the places they’ve worked and stolen from.

If you are running a business, you should be aware that embezzlement can happen and you might be the next person going to the Evidence Vault of Las Vegas looking for your stolen or embezzled item.

Alternatively, you could be the accused. There might come a time where you slid a unintentionally dollar inside your clothes and before you realize it, you have committed embezzlement. If this is so, you will need the help of a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney to represent you as the money or property you have embezzled could mean a blow to your own finances. You will have to restitute what the victims had lost and it will all come out of your own pockets.

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