Theft Charges

Melville Johnson
April 10, 2020
A theft charge brought by a federal agency against a federal employee can be based upon a specific statute, as opposed to the common law definition of theft. An agency must establish both that the appellant intended to permanently deprive another of property and that he or she had criminal intent in doing so.

The agency proves this charge with preponderant evidence , by establishing:

  1. The employee took another’s  property (almost always the agency’s)
  2. The employee acted without authorization
  3. The employee acted with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession
  4. The employee acted with a guilty mind.[1]

In most charges, the federal agency claims that an employee stole property, usually, but not always, property belonging to the agency. Many times the MSPB will regard a charge of misappropriation the same as a charge of theft. In addition to the usual situation of simply charging someone with taking a tangible item belonging to someone else, other circumstances surrounding theft charges include:

  • Theft of money by accepting salary for overtime not worked
  • Theft of money by keeping an emergency salary payment for a lost check and not returning it when check was received
  • Misappropriation or theft of funds by accepting payment for aluminum that belonged to the agency.

The federal employee attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C. are highly experienced in MSPB matters such as these, and are willing and able to assist you in your federal employment legal matters. Call or message us today to discuss your claim and learn how we can assist you.

[1]King v. Nazelrod, 43 F.3d 663 (Fed. Cir. 1994).


This blog and web site published by Melville Johnson, P.C. should not be used as a substitute for seeking competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney. Readers of this information should not act upon any information contained on this blog or website without seeking professional counsel.
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