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Broward County McDonald's manager faces theft charges

When a person is accused of stealing from an employer in Florida, they can face serious consequences if convicted. In addition to possible prison time, the accused can be required to pay restitution. A theft charge conviction can also cause serious damage to one's reputation and the accused may have a hard time finding future employment.

These are the potentially far reaching consequences a 35-year-old woman from Broward County is facing right now. The woman worked as a manager at a McDonald's restaurant in Boca Raton. According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, the woman allegedly stole money from secured deposits that were picked up at the restaurant by an armored car company. When a deposit of just under $5,000 was allegedly unaccounted for, the restaurant's director of operations called the Sheriff's Office. A review of the armored car company's records allegedly showed that they made no pickup on the day the deposit was supposed to be made. Deputies allege that surveillance cameras show the woman had access to the deposit on that date.

An investigation allegedly showed that the woman took money from secured deposits on several occasions, but always paid it back later. Due to a time lag in recording the deposits and because the money was always repaid, the internal reports never showed a discrepancy-until the most recent incident.

Defenses are available to a charge of theft from an employer. It is not unusual for false accusations to be made by a co-worker, for example. Unfortunately, if the woman actually did take the money, repaying it later would not be a defense to a theft charge. It might, however, be a mitigating circumstance in sentencing, and might be ammunition a defense lawyer could use in negotiating a plea agreement. An experienced Florida criminal defense attorney can review the state's evidence and counsel the accused as to their options.

Source: Palm Beach Post, "Police: McDonald's manager 'borrowed' money from deposits," Julius Wigham II, Jan. 8, 2014

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Andrew M. Coffey has been recognized as a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer by the Florida Bar. Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.

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