Chapter 6. Embezzlement of California Penal Code >> Title 13. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 6.
Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a
person to whom it has been intrusted.
Every officer of this state, or of any county, city, city and
county, or other municipal corporation or subdivision thereof, and
every deputy, clerk, or servant of that officer, and every officer,
director, trustee, clerk, servant, or agent of any association,
society, or corporation (public or private), who fraudulently
appropriates to any use or purpose not in the due and lawful
execution of that person's trust, any property in his or her
possession or under his or her control by virtue of that trust, or
secretes it with a fraudulent intent to appropriate it to that use or
purpose, is guilty of embezzlement.
504a. Every person who shall fraudulently remove, conceal or
dispose of any goods, chattels or effects, leased or let to him by
any instrument in writing, or any personal property or effects of
another in his possession, under a contract of purchase not yet
fulfilled, and any person in possession of such goods, chattels, or
effects knowing them to be subject to such lease or contract of
purchase who shall so remove, conceal or dispose of the same with
intent to injure or defraud the lessor or owner thereof, is guilty of
504b. Where under the terms of a security agreement, as defined in
paragraph (74) of subdivision (a) of Section 9102 of the Commercial
Code, the debtor has the right to sell the property covered thereby
and is to account to the secured party for, and pay to the secured
party the indebtedness secured by the security agreement from, the
proceeds of the sale of any of the property, and where the debtor,
having sold the property covered by the security agreement and having
received the proceeds of the sale, willfully and wrongfully, and
with the intent to defraud, fails to pay to the secured party the
amounts due under the security agreement, or the proceeds of the
sale, whichever is the lesser amount, and appropriates the money to
his or her own use, the debtor shall be guilty of embezzlement and
shall be punishable as provided in Section 514.
Every carrier or other person having under his control
personal property for the purpose of transportation for hire, who
fraudulently appropriates it to any use or purpose inconsistent with
the safe keeping of such property and its transportation according to
his trust, is guilty of embezzlement, whether he has broken the
package in which such property is contained, or has otherwise
separated the items thereof, or not.
Every trustee, banker, merchant, broker, attorney, agent,
assignee in trust, executor, administrator, or collector, or person
otherwise intrusted with or having in his control property for the
use of any other person, who fraudulently appropriates it to any use
or purpose not in the due and lawful execution of his trust, or
secretes it with a fraudulent intent to appropriate it to such use or
purpose, and any contractor who appropriates money paid to him for
any use or purpose, other than for that which he received it, is
guilty of embezzlement, and the payment of laborers and materialmen
for work performed or material furnished in the performance of any
contract is hereby declared to be the use and purpose to which the
contract price of such contract, or any part thereof, received by the
contractor shall be applied.
506a. Any person who, acting as collector, or acting in any
capacity in or about a business conducted for the collection of
accounts or debts owing by another person, and who violates Section
506 of the Penal Code, shall be deemed to be an agent or person as
defined in Section 506, and subject for a violation of Section 506,
to be prosecuted, tried, and punished in accordance therewith and
with law; and "collector" means every such person who collects, or
who has in his or her possession or under his or her control property
or money for the use of any other person, whether in his or her own
name and mixed with his or her own property or money, or otherwise,
or whether he or she has any interest, direct or indirect, in or to
such property or money, or any portion thereof, and who fraudulently
appropriates to his or her own use, or the use of any person other
than the true owner, or person entitled thereto, or secretes that
property or money, or any portion thereof, or interest therein not
his or her own, with a fraudulent intent to appropriate it to any use
or purpose not in the due and lawful execution of his or her trust.
506b. Any person who violates Section 2985.3 or 2985.4 of the Civil
Code, relating to real property sales contracts, is guilty of a
public offense punishable by a fine not exceeding ten thousand
dollars ($10,000), or by imprisonment in a the county jail not
exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of
Section 1170, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
Every person intrusted with any property as bailee, tenant, or
lodger, or with any power of attorney for the sale or transfer
thereof, who fraudulently converts the same or the proceeds thereof
to his own use, or secretes it or them with a fraudulent intent to
convert to his own use, is guilty of embezzlement.
Every clerk, agent, or servant of any person who fraudulently
appropriates to his own use, or secretes with a fraudulent intent to
appropriate to his own use, any property of another which has come
into his control or care by virtue of his employment as such clerk,
agent, or servant, is guilty of embezzlement.
A distinct act of taking is not necessary to constitute
Any evidence of debt, negotiable by delivery only, and
actually executed, is the subject of embezzlement, whether it has
been delivered or issued as a valid instrument or not.
Upon any indictment for embezzlement, it is a sufficient
defense that the property was appropriated openly and avowedly, and
under a claim of title preferred in good faith, even though such
claim is untenable. But this provision does not excuse the unlawful
retention of the property of another to offset or pay demands held
The fact that the accused intended to restore the property
embezzled, is no ground of defense or mitigation of punishment, if it
has not been restored before an information has been laid before a
magistrate, or an indictment found by a grand jury, charging the
commission of the offense.
Whenever, prior to an information laid before a magistrate, or
an indictment found by a grand jury, charging the commission of
embezzlement, the person accused voluntarily and actually restores or
tenders restoration of the property alleged to have been embezzled,
or any part thereof, such fact is not a ground of defense, but it
authorizes the court to mitigate punishment, in its discretion.
Every person guilty of embezzlement is punishable in the
manner prescribed for theft of property of the value or kind
embezzled; and where the property embezzled is an evidence of debt or
right of action, the sum due upon it or secured to be paid by it
must be taken as its value; if the embezzlement or defalcation is of
the public funds of the United States, or of this state, or of any
county or municipality within this state, the offense is a felony,
and is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison; and the person
so convicted is ineligible thereafter to any office of honor, trust,
or profit in this state.
Upon conviction of a felony violation under this chapter, the
fact that the victim was an elder or dependent person, as defined in
Section 288, shall be considered a circumstance in aggravation when
imposing a term under subdivision (b) of Section 1170.