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Former university employee charged with theft

A Michigan woman who had been the office coordinator at a university was charged for embezzlement on Nov. 6 after she was accused of stealing at least $50,000. The woman reportedly worked in the Athletic Recreation Facilities Management office at Grand Valley State University from 2008 until her resignation in June 2015.

Authorities started an investigation in June after employees of the school reported that funds had gone missing. The 44-year-old woman was taken into custody and was arraigned at the Hudsonville District Court on Nov. 4. She was released from jail after posting bond. She was scheduled to return to court for a probable cause hearing on Nov. 19.

The consequences for theft can be serious. Depending on the amount that the person was accused of stealing, if convicted the defendant could potentially be facing incarceration in addition to being ordered to paying a fine and making restitution. If the person has a prior criminal record, the consequences for theft charges could be even more severe.

A criminal defense attorney may in some cases defend a person facing theft charges by providing proof that the person was not involved or had knowledge of the theft. Depending on where the alleged theft occurred, this may include providing bookkeeping records or video evidence. If it can be proven that the defendant was not involved, the case may be dismissed. If the prosecution has strong evidence against the defendant, the attorney might attempt to negotiate an arrangement where the defendant returns the money or property in return for reduced penalties.

Source: Daily Journal, "Former Grand Valley State employee charged with embezzlement after probe into missing money", Nov. 6, 2015

Source: MLive, "GVSU employee charged with embezzling more than $50K from university", Angie Jackson, Nov. 5, 2015

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