Woman Charged with “Felony Embezzlement” After Return VHS 20 Years Late

A Texas woman is being charged with felony embezzlement after returning a VHS tape of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, 20 years after its due date. The woman told authorities that she had never rented the tape, but at the time, she was seeing a young man with two young daughters. The tape was never returned, and now the woman is facing felony charges

In March of 2000, the woman was charged with felony embezzlement of a rental property. However, no one went out looking for the major criminal. So 21 years later, the woman was trying to get her name changed after a recent marriage, and that is when she found out she was a wanted felon.

What is Embezzlement?

The term ‘embezzlement’ is most often used in an employer/employee context. An employee diverts funds from his company’s coffers into his own bank account. Embezzlement of rental property, however, is a simple form of theft. Someone rents the property of a company and then fails to return it. Under some state’s laws, that is charged as embezzlement. 

The woman expressed consternation at having been let go from several jobs over the past 20 years. She also told the press that “Samantha the Teenage Witch” is “not her cup of tea.” Apparently so. The teenage witch’s name is Sabrina.

Embezzlement is a Crime of Intent

You cannot accidentally commit embezzlement. It requires you to have guilty intent. In this case, it does not look like police or prosecutors, should they choose to move forward with these charges, can prove that the woman intentionally tried to deprive the video store of its video. It appears that her story, that the videotape was rented by a former boyfriend, cannot be disproven by the prosecutors. If the woman’s story holds up to bare scrutiny, the charges will be dismissed. 

The burden of proof would be on the prosecution to show that the woman intended to deprive the video store of the tape. That would mean poking holes in the woman’s story. However, the woman’s story is compelling and the charges now involve a company that no longer exists. 

The charges against the woman have been dropped as of the writing of this blog post. However, the charges will still show up on the woman’s criminal background check. She will need to have her record expunged to protect her from future job problems.

Felony embezzlement is the last thing you want to show up on your criminal background check when applying for a job. Most people figure embezzlement is a crime committed by an employee against a company. But in fact, embezzlement can be a fancy term for various types of theft.

Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with embezzling a videotape, or any similar crime, call the experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney, David Freidberg, today at (312) 560-7100 to discuss your situation in more detail and allow us to begin preparing your defense. 

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