Theft is a serious criminal offense anywhere in the world. Although a common driver for theft is extreme poverty, compounded by a great personal need, cases exist when people who are otherwise able to provide for themselves commit the crime anyway despite their favorable position. Such cases give rise to so-called white-collar crimes, included among which is the crime of embezzlement.
Embezzlement is a type of property theft. While simple theft on its own may already be seen as a serious crime, embezzlement is even more so because it involves a breach of trust.
Basically, this occurs when a person who is entrusted with legal access to another’s money or property takes it for his own gain. It is this violation of the special position of trust afforded to him by the property owner that adds weight to the charge.
An example of embezzlement might be when a banker steals the money entrusted to him by his client or the bank that he works for. Such instances when professionals are involved in the theft make the biggest portion of embezzlement cases tried.
However, embezzlement can also occur outside of the professional setting. For example, when a family entrusts the caring of a relative to a family member, provides him with money or property intended for this purpose, and the assigned family member steals that money or property, that scenario can also be considered embezzlement.