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Felony theft charges for Oregon Girl Scout troop leader

When people think about felony charges they may think about violent crimes, murder, weapons charges or drug charges. However, many misdemeanor crimes have corresponding felonies which can apply under certain circumstances. Take shoplifting for example. In some cases, theft is only a misdemeanor charge. However, if the amount stolen is high enough, or other factors are present, the charges can be increased to a felony.

In a recent Oregon case, a Girl Scout Troop leader has been arrested and charged with felony theft. According to police, regional investigators from the Girl Scouts noticed that the woman's troop had at least $7,477 that was unaccounted for. Girl Scout officials claim that they turned to the police after the troop leader could not answer questions about where the money had gone.

Police arrested the woman and charged her with first-degree theft. Following her arrest, police allege that the woman has claimed that she needed money to pay her credit card debt. She claims that she only intended to use the money until she received her tax returns. After a more complete investigation, the Girl Scouts are now claiming that over $8,000 is missing.

While the woman seems to have made statements about her guilt to the police, no guilty plea or verdict has been entered and the woman still has defense options available. At this time, the woman claims that she hopes she can come to an agreement with the Girl Scouts to pay back the money in exchange for dropped charges. The Girl Scouts have not agreed to work with the woman yet.

However, it may also be possible for the woman to negotiate with prosecutors. If she is able to come to a plea deal with them, she may be able to reduce the charges to misdemeanors which could reduce the length of any possible sentence.

Source: Corvallis Gazette-Times, "Troop leader charged with stealing from Girl Scouts," Canda Fuqua, April 23, 2013

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