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Former YMCA employee arrested on grand theft charge

Theft - taking someone else's money or property - is often a betrayal of personal trust. As is the case with many state laws, Florida law distinguishes theft as petty or grand based on the amount involved and the way it was taken. Both types of theft charges come with their own unique penalties that are imposed when a person is convicted of the charge. Beyond the criminal penalties, however, social stigma is often attached to someone who has betrayed the trust of others.

A 49-year-old Ocala woman could soon be experiencing this after her recent arrest for grand theft. According to the Ocala Police Department, the woman allegedly stole over $10,000 in course of performing her job as a membership consultant and office staffer at the local YMCA. When YMCA directors discovered the theft, they fired the woman and contacted police.

The former employee apparently kept daily cash payments in her desk and made only occasional deposits in the bank. The organization first became aware of problems last March when the YMCA received $182 in cash, but only $82 was deposited. The total amount of missing money was determined to be $10,125.74. The woman was released after posting a $2,000 bond. Aside from a possible prison sentence if she is convicted, the defendant also is likely to be required to repay the amount she stole.

In Florida, those who are charged with theft will need to present a strong defense if they hope to avoid conviction and its consequences. As soon as possible, the accused should speak with an attorney who can prepare an effective criminal defense and find the strategy for the case that is likely to be most successful, whether that means having charges dismissed or reduced, reaching a plea deal with prosecutors or convincing a jury or judge that the prosecution's evidence is suspect or weak and that the charges have no merit.

Source: Ocala Star Banner, "Former YMCA employee accused of stealing $10,000," Austin L. Miller, July 1, 2014

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