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 Mason's R. 104; 4 B. & P. 347; 3 Johns. Rep. 17; 1 Marsh. Ins. 241; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; Wesk. Ins. 194; 3 Kent, Com., 151; Hardin, 529.