Georgia Embezzlement Laws

Georgia embezzlement laws prohibit a specific kind of theft. Embezzlement refers to theft of money or property by a person in a position of trust or responsibility over those assets. Those with a fiduciary relationship, such as bankers, accountants, legal guardians, employees, and others are in a position to appropriate the very property they are charged with protecting.

Embezzlement vs. Conversion

The term "embezzlement" is not used in the Georgia laws, which instead refer to "conversion." Conversion is a more general legal term that, under common law, referred to the unauthorized use or control of another person's property. Embezzlement, by comparison, refers to property that the embezzler had lawful possession of that they then take for their own use.

Georgia embezzlement laws refer to conversion, but one of the elements of the crime is the initially lawful receipt of the property that was taken. As such, the "conversion" referenced in the Georgia Code actually refers to what is typically termed embezzlement and not common law conversion.

Overview

The following chart provides an overview of Georgia embezzlement laws:

Statute Georgia Code, Title 16, Crimes and Offenses, Chapter 8, Section 4
Elements of Embezzlement/Conversion

Georgia embezzlement laws require specific elements to support the charge. A person commits embezzlement when they:

  • lawfully obtain another person's funds or property, including leased or rented property;
  • under an agreement or other known legal obligation for the specific application or use of such property;
  • who knowingly converts the funds or property for their own use in violation of the aforementioned agreement.
Valuation

The value of non-monetary embezzled property is determined as follows:

  • the "market value" of the property is established by presenting a quote from the supplier of reasonably similar property. The price quoted should be the higher of:
    • the value when the embezzlement occurred; or
    • the value at the date of trial.
  • Rental charges, if the property was subject to a rental agreement, covering the time between the embezzlement and the time of recovery, if the property was recovered.
  • Interest on unpaid balances each month at the current legal rates between the court order and the actual payment in full.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources

If you would like to learn more about embezzlement and Georgia criminal laws, the following links provide additional information:

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If you have been charged under Georgia embezzlement laws there are a number of defenses that may be available. An experienced lawyer can help you determine which may apply in your situation, and how best to proceed. If you would like to learn more about your case, consider getting a free evaluation from a local defense attorney.

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