A woman in Minnesota has been accused of pilfering more than $40,000 from an automated teller machine at her former place of employment -- a gas station. She now faces a felony charge of theft via swindling as a result. However, those charged with felonies in Minnesota retain the right to fight these charges vigorously in the criminal justice system.
According to authorities, the woman told police she had been taking cash from the automated teller machine deposits for almost a year. This was reportedly done to support the woman's heroin addiction. The woman's arrest took place following the completion of a police sting operation in May.
The woman's employers had given her over 200 $20 bills that were pre-marked, and she was supposed to have placed them in the teller machine. However, an audit revealed that about 50 of these bills had gone missing. The woman reportedly stole hundreds of dollars and then adjusted the gas station's deposit logs a couple of times a week. If she is convicted of theft, she may spend as many as 20 years behind bars and/or pay a fine of $100,000.
The woman has the option of proceeding to trial to fight the serious felony charge. Alternatively, she may seek to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution, which may yield a lighter sentence than what she would receive if found guilty at trial. An attorney's goal in situations where people are charged with felonies in Minnesota is to pursue the best outcome for the defendant considering the circumstances surrounding his or her case.