Duress

Johnny, the CEO of Plastic Spoon Inc., is in a bit of a bind.  His daughter was kidnapped.  The kidnappers are demanding a hefty ransom.  Unfortunately for Johnny, he cannot afford the ransom. So, Johnny withdraws the ransom money from Plastic Spoon’s account, and he pays the kidnappers.  After returning with his daughter, the directors of the corporation notice the missing funds.  The directors report the loss to the police. The directors suspect that Johnny misappropriated the funds, and they tell the police about their suspicions. The police search Johnny’s home without a warrant.  They find a letter Johnny was writing that confirms that Johnny took the money for the corporation to pay the kidnappers.  The police arrest Johnny, and he is charged with theft.  Johnny is charged with embezzlement.

The elements of embezzlement in this state are: The intentional taking of money or property by a CEO or other top official in a corporation without consent.

  • Are the elements of embezzlement present in this fact pattern?
  • What affirmative defenses can Johnny raise?
  • Can Johnny get the letter seized by the police suppressed?  Why?

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