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Impact of Loss Amount in DC Federal Embezzlement Sentencing

The higher the loss amount in a case, the higher the applicable guideline range is for that case with regards to federal sentencing. The increase in the offense level can range from zero if the offense involved only $6,500 in loss, to as high as an increase of 30 years in jail if the offense involved more than $550 million in loss. The loss amount has a huge impact on the guideline range applicable in a case making it imperative those convicted of embezzlement have a DC federal embezzlement lawyer to assist them in mitigating the damage.

Difference Between Actual Loss and Intended Loss

Actual loss is the loss that is reasonably foreseeable as a result of the offense. It is what can be objectively determined as the loss in a particular course of action. The intended loss is the monetary harm the defendant purposely sought to inflict and includes the intended monetary harm that would have been impossible or unlikely to occur.

To determine the loss in an embezzlement case, the loss amount for purposes of the specific offense characteristic is the greater of the actual loss or intended loss.

Impact on Sentencing Guidelines

If there is a mandatory minimum applicable in a case, the guidelines are usually reverted up to the point of the mandatory minimum. If you have a case where the mandatory minimum is higher than the applicable guideline range, you do not use the applicable guideline range for the case, you move it up to the mandatory minimum. The mandatory minimum is federal law that must be applied. However, in a case where the mandatory minimum is below the guideline range, the mandatory minimum is sufficiently applied through the guideline sentence, so there is usually no change made.

Mitigating Loss Amount in Embezzlement Cases

When determining and advocating the loss amount on behalf of a client, it is important to evaluate the meanings of actual loss and intended loss to determine which one is actually greater and to determine whether a particular figure or loss amount is appropriately included in that calculation.

The government usually takes a very broad approach to calculating actual or intended loss. A defense attorney should review the financial statements, the facts, and the circumstantial evidence in a case to determine whether the figures produced by the government accurately capture the intended or actual loss. If the defense can credibly demonstrate that there is a lower amount that more accurately reflects actual or intended loss, an argument can be made to reduce the loss amount in a case.

Benefit of An Attorney

A person charged with embezzlement should contact a DC federal embezzlement sentencing lawyer because the guideline range applicable to a case is highly influential on the judge and the judge’s determination of the appropriate sentence in a case. Although the guidelines are no longer mandatory, they still have a great impact on the sentencing judge’s determination of the appropriate sentence in a case.

By having a lawyer who is knowledgeable about the DC federal embezzlement sentencing guidelines review your case, you may mitigate the recommended guideline range to an appropriate level that is lower than what the government advocates. That may translate into a lower sentence being issued by the judge.