The crime of misappropriation is ruled by the Italian Criminal Code, which states that anyone who takes money or assets from others to procure for himself or herself an unfair profit shall be punished with imprisonment.

Misappropriation is recognized as a crime in several countries (better known as embezzlement in Common Law countries). In Italy, this crime is classified under the general category of theft.  
The difference between misappropriation and theft is in the attitude since the theft is taking away something from the proprietor, while the misappropriation is when someone is in possession of something which belongs to others and still acts as he was the legitimate owner.  Therefore the attitude is crucial in the consumption of the crime.

In Italy, the crime is punishable only on the basis of a legal complaint by the injured party, to be filed within three months from the moment in which the victim has acknowledged the misappropriation.
Penalty for misappropriation is:

  1. Imprisonment from two to five years;
  2. Fine from €1000 to € 3000.

Misappropriation is particularly common between former spouses. 

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