There was no crime of embezzlement under the COMMON LAW. It is a statutory crime that evolved from LARCENY. Whereas larceny requires a felonious trespassory taking of property at the outset, embezzlement is a wrongful appropriation subsequent to an originally lawful taking. Embezzlement is, therefore, a modification of larceny designed to cover certain fraudulent acts that do not come within its scope. Although they are mutually exclusive crimes, larceny and embezzlement do overlap slightly under statutes in some states.
Embezzlement was created by the English legislature, which designated specific persons who might be liable for the offense. These were essentially persons entrusted with another's property, such as agents, attorneys, bankers, and corporate officers.
The English definition of the offense is followed in the United States. Statutes do not usually list the persons who might be liable but, instead, generally describe the offender as a person entrusted with, or in possession of, another's property.
Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Embargo to Estate pur (or per) autre vieEmbezzlement - Nature, Property, Elements, Conversion Of Property, Further Readings - Persons Liable, Punishment