embezzlement(redirected from embezzle)
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embezzlement,wrongful use, for one's own selfish ends, of the property of another when that property has been legally entrusted to one. Such an act was not larcenylarceny,
in law, the unlawful taking and carrying away of the property of another, with intent to deprive the owner of its use or to appropriate it to the use of the perpetrator or of someone else.
..... Click the link for more information. at common law because larceny was committed only when property was acquired by a "felonious taking," i.e., when the act was committed with respect to property that was at the time in the legal possession of the owner. Consequently, unfaithful servants, employees, agents, trustees, or guardians who misappropriated another's property could be sued only in the civil courts, on the grounds that although the defendant had legally come into possession of the property, he had breached his trust by wrongfully misappropriating it to his own use. To remedy this situation statutes were passed in England and the United States that either made embezzlement a distinct crime or enlarged the definition of larceny in such a way as to include all cases of misappropriation of property in the lawful possession of the wrongdoer. In most states of the United States embezzlement is a felonyfelony
, any grave crime, in contrast to a misdemeanor, that is so declared in statute or was so considered in common law. In early English law a felony was a heinous act that canceled the perpetrator's feudal rights and forfeited his lands and goods to the king, thus depriving
..... Click the link for more information. . Under acts of Congress, stealing of letters by postmasters, clerks, and letter carriers is considered embezzlement.