California Penal Code 424 PC

PC 424 – Misappropriation of Public Funds

PC 424 Misappropriation of Public Funds

Misappropriation of Public Funds – Table of Contents

PC 424 – Overview

Every government in the world usually has public funds, mainly obtained from taxes, which they use to pursue their policy objectives. Various public officials are put in to oversee this money and ensure it is used to serve its intended purpose.

Nonetheless, you may find a public officer or a trustee of public funds using the money that has been granted to them for their own personal gain. The California Penal Code 424 PC outlaws the misappropriation of public funds by public officials or any other individual who has been entrusted with public funds. A violation of this statute is regarded as a white-collar crime, and it comes with some very stiff penalties.

There are a variety of ways one can misappropriate funds according to the California Penal Code 424 PC. They include:

  • Misappropriating public funds for your own use or the use of another individual without authority.
  • Loaning, profiting from, or misusing public funds without authority
  • Creating fraudulent accounts, falsely altering or destroying accounts related to public funds.
  • Refusing to Transfer or Pay Public Funds

This statute does make an exception for people who misuse minimal amounts of money. Thus, a public official who takes advantage of significantly small amounts of money should not be found guilty under California Penal Code 424 PC.

In the context of this statute, a public officer or a trustee of public funds includes employees or officials of California or local government agencies such as:

  • Elected or appointed officials
  • Government employed accountants or lawyers
  • Rank and file government employees
  • Someone who doesn’t have a government job but has custody or control over public funds.

PC 424 – Sentencing

Being charged for misappropriation of funds in violation of California Penal Code 424 PC is regarded as a felony offense.

If convicted, the defendant could be sentenced to:

  • Two to Four years in a California state prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Felony probation

The defendant will also have to pay back all the money they misused and will be banned from holding public office in California.

Crimes Related To Misappropriation of Funds

Bribing a Public Official – California Penal Code Section 67 PC and California Penal Code Section 68 PC
Forgery – California Penal Code Section 470 PC
Grand Theft – California Penal Code Section 487 PC
Embezzlement – California Penal Code Section 503 PC

PC 424 – Prosecution

For it to be possible for a prosecutor to get the defendant convicted for misuse of public funds under California Penal Code 424 PC.

They have to prove without a reasonable doubt the following elements:

  • The defendant was a public officer of the State of California, or of a country, city, town, or district.
  • Due to this position, the defendant was charged with the receipt, safekeeping, transfer, or disbursement of public funds

Plus, depending on the type of method used to misuse public funds, the prosecutor will have to prove:

  1. The defendant appropriated any portion of said public funds for their own use or the use of another; or
  2. The defendant loaned, made a profit out of, or used the said public funds for a purpose not authorized by the law; or
  3. The defendant knowingly kept a false account, makes a false entry or erasure in any account, or fraudulently alters, falsifies, conceals, destroys, or obliterates any account related to said public money; or
  4. The defendant willfully refused to pay over, on-demand, any public funds in their hands, upon presentation of a draft, order, or warrant drawn upon by the state or, omitted transferring said funds when required by law, or refused to pay over any money imposed by law, to authorized personnel.

The prosecutor will also have to prove that the defendant knew their misuse was prohibited and was criminally negligent in failing to find out if they had the legal authority to commit this action.

PC 424 – Defenses

You have a lot of options when facing criminal charges under Penal Code 424 PC. There are several defenses a criminal defense lawyer can use to argue your case and ensure you get the best results. One strategy a criminal defense attorney can use is to focus on the amount of money the defendant is accused of misusing. Remember, under this statute, the defendant cannot be charged for minimal unapproved expenses. Therefore, if your lawyer can prove the misuse of funds was negligent the defendant should not be charged under this statute.

Misappropriation of Funds – Hire Us

Facing charges under California Penal Code 424 PC can have some very serious consequences. Hence you must consult a competent criminal defense attorney like Seppi Esfandi. Esfandi has a significant amount of experience handling white-collar crimes and is the perfect partner to effectively argue your case to ensure the best results.

Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.

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