Section 160 Crimes Act 1900 | Embezzlement by Public Servant


If you are employed by a public body or government organisation and you are charged with embezzlement, you may be charged with the special offence of “embezzlement by public servants.”

Embezzlement generally refers to situations where you are entrusted with money or property on behalf of your employer, and you use that money or property for some unauthorised purpose.

To be charged with this offence, the prosecution must prove that you were a public servant; in other words, that you were employed by a government body or organisation, and that you committed embezzlement.

The maximum penalty for this offence is the same penalty for embezzlement offences, which is 10 years imprisonment.

However, while this is a lengthy penalty, it is important to remember that it is the maximum, and will therefore only apply in the most serious cases.

Our lawyers have considerable experience defending embezzlement cases and can assist you in avoiding these onerous penalties by fighting hard to protect your rights.

The Legislation

Section 160 of the Crimes Act deals with the offence of “embezzlement by public servants” and reads as follows:

160 Embezzlement etc by persons in the Public Service

Whosoever, being employed in the Public Service, fraudulently embezzles any property, or any part thereof, so intrusted to him or her, or taken into his or her possession, or being in his or her custody, or under his or her control, or fraudulently secretes, removes, or in any manner fraudulently applies, or disposes of, the same, or any part thereof, shall be deemed to have stolen the same, and shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

An embezzlement charge can have a damaging impact on your reputation; negatively impacting your work and career aspirations.

In these situations it can be difficult to know who to turn to for the best advice in defending your rights.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we are passionate about protecting our clients’ interests and fight hard in every case to secure a positive outcome – no matter how serious the charges are.

Our lawyers have extensive experience in serious fraud cases, including embezzlement, and can advise you of the best steps to take when it comes to defending yourself against the allegations.

We will take the time to carefully listen to your side of the story in order to give you the best advice about your options.

In many cases, we are able to identify problems with the prosecution case at an early stage and have charges dropped on this basis by writing to police.

However, where your matter proceeds to court, our experienced advocates will fight hard to win your case by presenting your side of the story in the most favourable light, along with any defences.

We will also work to dispel the prosecution allegations by effectively examining all witnesses and casting doubt on the prosecution evidence.

The skill and expertise of our lawyers is reflected in our ability to consistently obtain excellent results in even the most serious embezzlement cases.

Our lawyers can also assist where you simply wish to plead guilty to the charges, and can prepare persuasive sentencing submissions which focus on positive ‘mitigating’ factors which reduce the seriousness of your actions and maximise your chances of obtaining a favourable outcome.

We understand how important your reputation and career are – so give us a call today on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference with us to discover how we can help you win your embezzlement case.