PeculationThe term peculation It is used in the field of right to name the crime that takes place when a person keeps the public money that it was supposed to manage. Embezzlement, therefore, is part of what is commonly known as corruption.

Whoever commits this crime steals funds belonging to the State and that, in theory, it should manage. The concept comes from peculium (whose etymological origin is found in the Latin peculiarium), which is the capital that a person granted to his descendant or his servant to make use of it.

The person who incurs this fault disappoint the trust of the state, whose authorities entrusted him with some type of function and made it possible for him to access public resources. Embezzlement sometimes does not specifically refer to the theft of money, but it can also take place when the official in question makes use of certain objects that, in reality, should be available for the common good.

For instance: “The Secretary of the Environment was denounced for embezzlement”, “The embezzlement was confirmed when investigators managed to demonstrate that the minister used public facilities for personal parties”, “The manager of the state telephone company attributed the financial problems to the embezzlement committed by some executives”.

What differentiates embezzlement from other types of robberies or scams, in short, is that the offender is someone who performs public functions and who appropriates state resources that he should guard and manage, abusing his position. This peculiarity, of course, aggravates the condition of the Stole.

PeculationAccording to him Code Colombian criminal, the following types of embezzlement are recognized:

* by appropriation: when a public servant appropriates state property, companies or institutions in which he participates, private property entrusted to him or parafiscal funds and uses them for his personal benefit. In this case, the penalty may be a minimum of six years in prison or a fine for the value of what was stolen, in addition to being deprived of his position and his public rights for a period equivalent to that of imprisonment;

* per use: if an employee makes use or allows the misuse of state property or of companies of which it participates, as well as of assets that it is managing or guarding by reason of its functions. The minimum period of imprisonment for this type of embezzlement is one year, equal to the prohibition of exercising public office. Also belonging to this crime is the case of those who take advantage of official services or allow others to do so;

* by someone else’s mistake: Unlike the two previous cases, this type of embezzlement occurs when, for error, a third party grants a public servant certain assets that do not correspond to him and he uses them for purposes other than those legally provided. The penalty is one year in prison and the interdiction of public functions and rights, as well as a fine (if there is no retention or appropriation, the penalty is reduced by half);

* by different official application: As mentioned above, embezzlement does not always consist of the use of public goods to satisfy needs or personal whims. Precisely, in this case a public employee uses the assets (or the companies whose custody or administration have been placed in his charge by reason of his functions) for purposes other than those officially provided, or follow the orders regarding their use but Commit amounts higher than those set in the budget. The penalty consists of a minimum of six months in prison, one year of interruption of the exercise of public functions and a fine.