Definition of EMBEZZLEMENT


crim. law. The fraudulently removing and secreting of
personal property, with which the party has been entrusted, for the purpose
of applying it to his own use.

2. The Act of April 30, 1790, s. 16, 1 Story, L. U. S. 86, provides, that
if any person, within any of the laces under the sole and exclusive
jurisdiction of the United States, or upon the high seas, shall take and
carry away, with an intent to steal or purloin, the personal goods of
another, or if any person or persons, having, at any time hereafter, the
charge or custody of any arms, ordnance, munition, shot, powder, or
habiliments of war, belonging to the. United States, or of any victuals
provided for the victualling of any soldiers, gunners, marines, or
pioneers, shall, for any lucre or gain, or wittingly, advisedly, and of
purpose to hinder or impede the service of the United States, embezzle,
purloin, or convey away, any of the said arms, ordnance, munition, shot or
powder, habiliments of war, or victuals, that then, and in every of the
cases aforesaid, the persons so offending, their counsellors, aiders and
abettors, (knowing of, and privy to the offences aforesaid,) shall, on
conviction, be fined, not exceeding the fourfold value of the property so
stolen, embezzled or purloined the one moiety to be paid to the owner of
the goods, or the United States, as the case may be, and the other moiety
to the informer and prosecutor, and be publicly whipped, not exceeding
thirty-nine stripes.

3. The Act of April 20, 1818, 3 Story, 1715, directs that wines and
distilled spirits shall, in certain cases, be deposited in the public
warehouses of the United States, and then it is enacted, s. 5, that if any
wines, or other spirits, deposited under the provisions of this act, shall
be embezzled, or fraudulently hid or removed, from any store or place
wherein they shall have been deposited, they shall be forfeited, and the
person or persons so embezzling, hiding, or removing the same, or aiding or
assisting therein, shall be liable to the same pains and penalties as if
such wines or spirits had been fraudulently unshipped or landed without
payment of duty.

4. By the 21st section of the act to reduce into one the several acts
establishing and regulating the post-office, passed March 3, 1825, 3 Story,
1991, the offence of embezzling letters is punished with fine and
imprisonment. Vide Letter.

5. The act more effectually to provide for the punishment of certain
crimes against the United States, and for other purposes, passed March 3,
1825, s. 24, 3 Story, 2006, enacts, that if any of the gold or silver coins
which shall be struck or coined at the mint of the United States, shall be
debased, or made worse, as to the proportion of fine gold or fine silver
therein contained, or shall be of less weight or value than the same ought
to be, pursuant to the several acts relative thereto, through the default
or with the connivance of any of the officers or persons who shall be
employed at the said mint, for the purpose of profit or gain, or otherwise,
with a fraudulent intent and if any of the said officers or persons shall
embezzle any of the metals which shall, at any time, be committed to their
charge for the purpose of being coined, or any of the coins which shall be
struck or coined, at the said mint, every such officer, or person who shall
commit any, or either, of the said offences, shall be deemed guilty of
felony, and shall be sentenced to imprisonment and hard labor for a term
not less than one year, nor more than ten years, and shall be fined in a
sum not exceeding ten thousand dollars.

6. When an embezzlement of a part of the cargo takes place on board of a
ship, either from the fault, fraud, connivance or negligence of any of the
crow, they are bound to contribute to the reparation of the loss, in
proportion to their wages. When the embezzlement is fixed on any
individual, he is solely responsible, when it is made by the crew, or some
of the crew, but the particular offender is unknown, and from the
circumstances of the case, strong presumptions of guilt apply to the whole
crew, all must contribute. The presumption of innocence is always in favor
of the crew, and the guilt of the parties must be established, beyond all
reasonable doubt, before they can be required to contribute. 1 Masons R.
104, 4 B. & P. 347, 3 Johns. Rep. 17, 1 Marsh. Ins. 241, Danes Ab. Index,
h. t., Wesk. Ins. 194, 3 Kent, Com., 151, Hardin, 529.

Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition