An embezzlement charge is a form of theft in California. Under California Penal Code §503 it is unlawful for a person to misappropriate property entrusted to them due to their position. It is taken more seriously by courts than that of theft because the person who is stealing is someone who has been entrusted with the property.
For example, let’s say a bank teller has been collecting deposits from customers and putting half into her own account. She will be charged, and most likely convicted, of embezzlement.
Due to the fact that embezzlement is a form of theft, a person who is charged and convicted of embezzlement will be sentenced within a range provided by the theft statute under the California Penal Code. PC §§487 and 488 establish a range for potential penalties that may be imposed if a person is convicted of the charge.