Ex-bank teller pays restitution for larceny, avoids prison time

Penalties can be harsh for Illinois residents who have been charged with a felony. Individuals facing serious accusations for criminal wrongdoing may benefit by working with an attorney, though, who is knowledgeable about their rights and effective defense strategies. A criminal defense lawyer may also be able to pursue avenues to reduce penalties or prison sentences, even when a conviction is unavoidable.

A woman with a gambling addiction and depression recently pleaded guilty to stealing money from the accounts of customers at the bank where she worked. A prosecutor wanted the defendant to spend up to three years in state prison for the third-degree grand larceny charge. Taking the defendant’s unique situation into consideration, a judge agreed to allow the woman to pay full restitution to the victims and ordered a sentence of five years’ probation.

The court allowed the 30-year-old bank teller to return about $60,000 that she allegedly withdrew or neglected to deposit into six customers’ accounts. Prosecutors alleged the former bank employee purposely chose to steal from elderly customers. The defense argued that there was no proof that age or any other factor determined the defendant’s pattern of theft.

An arrest was made in February after bank customers discovered conflicting details in their bank records. More customers reported errors in their accounts after the teller was taken into police custody.

Prosecutors complained that the defendant used none of her own money to repay the bank and its customers. Money for restitution was allegedly provided by the former teller’s family. The judge told the court that a jail term would not likely have a positive effect on the desperate woman, who might benefit more from treatment for her mental health condition and gambling addiction.

The convicted teller won’t do prison time, but her behavior will be monitored for several years. Any violation of probation or criminal wrongdoing could rob the woman of her freedom. The woman’s felony conviction will remain on her record permanently.

Crimes are not always committed out of malice. Many people suffer from addictions to gambling, drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, these addictions can lead to poor decisions.

Source: The Syracuse Post-Standard, “Former bank teller avoids jail for stealing from elderly customers,” Jim O’Hara, July 18, 2012

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Ex-bank teller pays restitution for larceny, avoids prison time