The Truth About Theft By an Employee of Servant
Theft by an employee or a servant occurs when that individual was granted temporary permission to possess the property and failed to ever return the property. In fact, the employee had no intention of ever returning the property to the rightful owner, who is their employer.
The employee would not be guilty of larceny while they had legal custody of the property which was granted from the rightful owner of that property. If, however, some predetermined time has passed and they still have possession of the property, they would be guilty of larceny.
In addition, if the employee transferred that property to another party, in the absence of permission form the rightful owner, they would be a party to larceny. Lastly, some property, such as payment for services, can be a part of theft even if the employer never had actual possession of the property before it was stolen.
If any employee has custody of an employer’s property and gives that property to another individual in the absence of permission from the rightful owner, they are guilty of trespassory taking of said property. In fact, that crime contains all of the necessary elements of larceny as long as the property has monetary value.
Conversely, if an employee received property from an individual that intended that property to be delivered to an employer, the rules are different. Since the employee merely has custody of the property, they have not committed theft simply because they failed to transfer the property to the intended party.
Larceny requires trespassory taking which is not an element in that scenario. Yet, there are situations where trespassory taking does occur even when the property was not directly transferred to the the intended rightful owner or the employer.
For example, an employee at a shop receives money for goods that belong to their employer. Normally, that money is placed in the cash register. At the end of the day, the employer takes possession of their property, which is the money.
However, if the employee takes money out of the register, they have committed larceny because they took money that now belongs to their employer because it was exchanged for goods that were the property of the employer.
Theft from employers is a fairly common crime. Many times, the crime is petty larceny. For example, many employees take office supplies, sometimes without thinking of it as stealing. In addition, employees sometimes utilize phones to make personal calls or printers to print items that do not pertain to work.
In many companies, employee theft is a big problem. More recently, employers have begun to press charges even for small infractions in order to send a message. All of those petty larcenies add up to big losses for companies worldwide.