Recent news reports have detailed the case of the vice president for business and finances at St. Xavier University, who was convicted of embezzling in excess of $850,000 over the period of a decade. Susan Piros was sentenced to three and a half years in a federal prison for filing false expense account claims. The money was taken from a federally-funded program, and Piros must not only serve her prison sentence, but pay the full amount back to the United States government as restitution for her crime.Those who are charged with embezzling money are usually considered to be alleged perpetrators of "white collar crimes." While this distinction may be useful in some contexts, it is important to realize that embezzlement is legally considered theft, and those who are so charged should seek the advice of a Chicago theft lawyer. Embezzlement is, of course, a serious crime and can have long range consequences, so it is important to hire the best Chicago theft lawyer you can find to represent you if you are facing similar charges. Most firms offer up-front consultations at little to no initial fee.One local man initially had trouble when faced with charges that he embezzled $75,000 from his employer and sought advice from a Chicago theft lawyer who treated him with professional respect and courtesy. Even though the lawyer could not represent the man suspected of embezzlement due to a conflict of interest, the attorney gave him sound advice and referred him to another attorney who was able to take his case. " legal advice was spot on," said the defendant. "I ended up hiring the attorneys he referred to me to take over my case. They were able to negotiate a much smaller settlement with my prior employer and contact law enforcement to proactively stop any criminal embezzlement charges from even being filed. I am now able to move on with my life without a felony conviction and jail time."Generally, embezzlement theft over $300 is charged as a felony, and anything under that amount is a misdemeanor. In the case of Piros, who initially lied about her activities, her sentence of 42 months came in light of the recommendation by prosecutors that she be sentenced to 46 months. The testimony of the man not yet charged but suspected of embezzling much less proves that a Chicago theft lawyer can work on your behalf to settle quickly before charges are ever filed. Whether one has been charged or is still a suspect of white collar theft, it is important to secure the services of an attorney as soon as possible.