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Bank teller pays full restitution, avoids jail time

Families all across Michigan are struggling to make ends meet. During these difficult economic times, people can become depressed and desperate for some financial security. Reacting to this kind of stress can push people to do things they would otherwise never consider. In some cases, these actions result in an investigation and criminal charges. Defending against these charges is very important in order to protect a person's family, career and reputation.

Out of desperation a person can make one bad decision which can lead to a string of missteps that ultimately end in series criminal charges. However, if there are extenuating circumstances that may have contributed to a person's behavior, it is important that these are explained. In some cases, this information will be effective in having charges reduced or minimized.

Recently, a 30-year-old bank teller was arrested and charged with grand larceny. According to reports, the woman started taking money from the accounts of some bank customers. What started as smaller withdrawals ended with a total of $20,000 that the woman was charged with taking.

During the trial, it came out that the woman suffered from serious depression and an addiction to gambling. She was also able to pay the full restitution of $59,800 by her sentencing date. Based on her ability to pay restitution and the reasons behind her actions, she was able to avoid jail time. Instead of the possible three years she was facing, the judge sentenced the woman to five years of probation.

The judge was careful to remind the woman, however, that she would still have a felony conviction on her record. Additionally, if she gets into any trouble or violates the terms of her probation, she could be sent to jail. For the time being, however, she can move forward with her life and focus on recovering from her addiction and depression.

Source: Syracuse.com, "Former bank teller avoids jail for stealing from elderly customers," Jim O'Hara, July 18, 2012

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