Fraud vs. Embezzlement

Main Difference

Fraud and embezzlement are two kind of criminal and immoral activities which are associated with diddling and making illegal use of someone’s trust. In relationship they are closely connected with each others as the basic purpose of both is to gain some personal benefit at the risk of others. Surprisingly there exists some differences between fraud and embezzlement, which will be revealed by you in this article.


fraudFraud is an immoral activity intentionally adept in order to gain personal benefit or objective by deceiving the others or at the risk of others. In legal aspect it comes in both civil wrong and criminal wrong. In case of civil wrong, like breach of contract or failure to perform specific performance, the fraud perpetrator may be compelled to pay monetary compensation. In case of criminal wrong, like bank fraud, insurance fraud and forgery, he may be sentenced to jail or monetary compensation or both.


embezzlementEmbezzlement is an act of dishonesty and deceit with the intention of illegally withholding the entrusted assets of someone without his permission. It is a kind of financial fraud in which a person who is entrusted with accounts, monies, or other valuable assets by someone and he refused to return the same on demand. There is no physical violence in embezzlement that’s why it is called as white collar crime. It also comes in both civil wrong and criminal wrong. Mostly its punishment are according to civil law.

Key Differences

  • Embezzlement is possible if a person is entrusted with the asset of someone else while in fraud there is no matter of providing an asset to someone to keep in his custody.
  • Both fraud and embezzlement comes under the civil law and criminal law and are treated accordingly. However most of the cases of embezzlement are decided according to civil law.
  • Fraud means making false representation while selling a product or providing services while embezzlement is totally negating the right of the victim party by not giving him to his entrusted assets.
  • Embezzlement mostly relates to financial matter like theft of money while fraud relates to all kinds of false representation and mostly does not relates to theft of money.
  • Proving embezzlement is hard as party who committed the embezzlement can replace the evidence while proving fraud is not very difficult as it can be proved through the nature or representation of product made by the fraud perpetrator.

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