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Fraud and embezzlement

The lawyers of ECKSTEIN & KOLLEGEN defend individuals against accusations of fraud and breach of trust.


Fraud law belongs to the core area of property criminal law and is part of commercial criminal law. It is used to punish deception that damages property and thus to distinguish permitted from prohibited skill in obtaining material benefits.

Most fraud is committed in the areas of goods and goods credit fraud, the fraudulent procurement of services, and through illegally obtained non-cash means of payment. In the past, the highest losses have been caused by capital investment and investment fraud, goods and goods credit fraud, and money credit fraud.

The dogmatically – and thus also in practice – secured core area of the crime of fraud is quite narrow; the unsecured peripheral area, on the other hand, is extremely wide. Therefore, complex and previously unresolved legal issues regularly arise when assessing whether fraud has been committed as a result of certain conduct.

ECKSTEIN & KOLLEGEN lawyers can advise on all questions that arise and defend against allegations of fraud at all stages of the proceedings.

One of the firm’s special areas of expertise is the handling of the “Diesel Scandal” in the German automotive industry, which has been in the public eye for years, with numerous defence mandates still in place at the moment.


Besides fraud law, embezzlement law too is key for asset protection. It does not criminalize an attack on assets from the outside – for example by deception as with fraud – but rather an attack on assets from the inside, and covers the use of a granted power of disposition to cause damage to another’s property in breach of duty.

In business, the offence of embezzlement can become relevant in particular in the form of disloyalty to organs. With corporately constituted companies – such as stock corporations, limited liability companies and registered associations – management and ownership regularly diverge. In these cases, the management is obliged to look after the company’s assets in the interests of the owners. Management teams responsible for asset management are subject to a large number of legal obligations under civil law, which are regularly supplemented and reinforced by compliance and corporate governance regulations. This duty to look after assets acquires criminal significance through the criminal offence of embezzlement.

Against this background, the defence against an accusation of embezzlement may involve, for example, seeking to restrict the catalogue of duties relevant to the embezzlement according to the individual case and respective business risk.

ECKSTEIN & KOLLEGEN lawyers advise on these and all other aspects of the crime of embezzlement. They defend against allegations of embezzlement at all stages of the proceedings.