What do I do if I find out that an employee has been embezzling funds from my business in North Carolina?

Many people contact our law firm to ask what they should do if an employee has embezzled funds from their business in North Carolina. They discover that someone has committed embezzlement and taken money in some form or fashion from their business.  If more than $1,000 has been stolen then it’s a felony charge in North Carolina.

If someone has committed embezzlement from your business you should call the police and they will investigate and arrest where appropriate.  As part of the criminal process there will be an effort by the police, district attorney’s office and courts to get you all of your money back.

What happens if you try to work out a deal with the employee and don’t call the police?  After firing the employee some employers will try to work it out with that former employee and may not end up contacting the authorities.  If you sign some type of contract or enter into some sort of formal agreement with that former employee for repayment of the funds that were taken - the police may not get involved in the case if that former employee doesn’t make good on his/her promise to repay the funds that were taken.  Once you get into the point where there’s a contract then it likely becomes a civil matter and not a criminal matter and the police may decide not to get involved.  At that point your only recourse will be to sue the former employee for the lost funds if they don’t pay the funds back as part of the agreement.  All cases are unique so this may or may not apply to your specific case.

If criminal charges are brought against the former employee and they enter a plea deal or are found guilty then there will likely be some sort of restitution ordered by the courts as part of any deal or criminal sentence.  Most courts in North Carolina are very interested in getting your business paid back for the funds that were taken.

The main issue here is that if you (1) decide not to call the police and then (2) sign a written agreement for repayment with the former employee who embezzled funds and (3) the employee doesn’t make repayment then you would likely have to sue the employee in civil court and the police could decide not to get involved.

If criminal charges are filed then there are strong mechanisms in North Carolina where the District Attorney and the Judge will be very concerned with making sure that your business gets paid back those embezzled funds.


Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.