Embezzlement by A Spouse? Yes, it Happens!

The conventional wisdom is that you are completely protected from embezzlement if your spouse runs your office.

While it is true that, in normal circumstances, your economic interest and that of your spouse line up perfectly, embezzlement can still take place even if your spouse manages your practice. In other words, most of the time, it would give your spouse no advantage to steal from your practice.

First, the embezzler may be someone other than your spouse, such as a receptionist or financial coordinator.

Second, there are times when your spouse’s interest is no longer harmonized with yours. The most common example is when they have decided to leave the marriage and simply haven’t told you this yet.

If your spouse is your employee (and therefore has no income that in independent of your control), they may have a need to put some money aside for the day when they tell you that they are leaving. Their expectation is that you will terminate their employment in this circumstance and they will have expenses for making new living arrangements and paying an attorney, all while deprived of their normal salary.

So embezzlement sometimes happens in this situation. The court case below shows an example of alleged embezzlement from a spouse in the context of divorce.

Stephanie Negron
Ross-v.-Negron-Ross