Third-degree Theft Charge Leads to Probation for New Jersey Woman

A North Brunswick woman was recently sentenced after authorities claimed that she stole $42,000 from her employer over the course of about two years. Because the amount of money in question was between $500 and $75,000, the woman was charged with third-degree theft, which upon conviction carries a sentence of up to five years in prison. In this case, however, the woman was given a much lighter sentence of five years of probation. She was also ordered to repay the money she was accused of stealing.

The woman was formerly a cashier for a medical group, and her job involved keeping records of checks, credit card payments and cash received from patients. The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey conducted an internal audit of the group and revealed the alleged thefts. The case then went to criminal court, where the woman admitted that she frequently took money from the patients’ payments and falsified records to cover up the thefts.

The woman was charged with theft by unlawful taking, to which she pleaded guilty in April. In addition to probation and the order to repay the money, she is also barred from public employment in New Jersey.

A theft conviction can lead to problems beyond fines and jail time. Defendants’ professional reputations and future job prospects are on the line. In some cases, it is possible for the accused to take part in a Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) to minimize the long-term consequences of a theft charge. Individuals accused of theft crimes would be wise to begin mounting a criminal defense as soon as possible.

Source: NJ.com, “Former NJ medical group cashier sentenced to 5 years probation,” Christopher Baxter, May 30, 2014