A 26-year-old bookkeeper is set to face a trial by jury later this year following her not guilty plea. Charged with multiple counts of felony theft, the woman’s arrest came after what authorities claim was some significant embezzlement on her part. However, since embezzlement is what is known as a nonviolent crime, even prosecutors think that jail time would be unlikely should a conviction ever be achieved.

The Colorado woman worked as the bookkeeper for a close friend’s business, from which authorities claim she embezzled $40,000. The owner of the business — a home rental service — stated that the two even considered one another to be family and went hiking together on a weekly basis. Although it is not entirely clear how the alleged embezzlement was initially discovered, the owner enlisted the help of an outside forensic accountant that reconstructed the business’ books, producing evidence that helped police make the arrest.

Authorities believe that the former bookkeeper used a variety of techniques in order to move some of the business’ funds to her own personal accounts. In addition to using the business’ credit cards improperly, she also allegedly skimmed some of the rent collections. It is also possible that ghost employees were established in order to collect salaries for herself.

These types of felony theft charges carry the possibility of up to six years behind bars, although white-collar crimes such as this one don’t necessarily result in jail time. Still, handling these types of charges in order to achieve the best outcome possible is typically in the best interests of most Colorado defendants. This is usually accomplished through thorough preparations, including conducting a careful review of all charges alongside defense counsel.

Source: gazette.com, “Accused Colorado Springs embezzler headed to trial”, Lance Benzel, May 4, 2016