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Judge dismisses charges against couple accused of theft

Handling finances for another person can be a very challenging responsibility. Every transaction can be scrutinized and when something suspicious happens with an account, people will often assume that criminal behaviors or financial mismanagement are to blame. However, this is not always the case.

One couple recently worked with attorneys to defend themselves against allegations that they had taken about $140,000 from a couple to whom they were related. They were each facing multiple serious charges related to white collar crime including theft, conspiracy, forgery, receiving stolen property, unlawful use of a computer and many others. However, every single charge was dismissed by a judge after it was argued that no crime had actually been committed.

According to reports, the two people facing charges were accused of stealing money from the accounts of the couple who both suffer from mental and developmental disabilities. After the vulnerable woman noticed suspicious activity with her bank account, she notified police and someone at the human services organization who then started investigating the situation. The agency reportedly concluded that the couple was being financially victimized and the blame was placed on the other couple who helped handle their finances.

However, attorneys for the accused couple argued that there was no evidence to support allegations that they unlawfully took money from the other couple. The accused woman's name was even on their bank account, giving her the right to access money in the account. Additionally, the charges were filed in response to statements based primarily on the memory of the other woman and her husband, who is not capable of managing finances. This information was not sufficient in proving that the accused couple had committed any crime.

A judge dismissed all the charges after he ruled that there was not enough evidence to support the claims that the man and woman had purposely or unlawfully taken money from the other couple. 

Charges related to unlawfully taking money from someone should be taken very seriously by anyone facing this upsetting situation. It can be a very complicated matter and in many cases, having the legal support of an attorney can help people defend themselves against any criminal charges and work to have them reduced or dismissed.

Source: The Republican Herald, "Charges dismissed against Pottsville couple accused in forgery," Peter E. Bortner, Dec. 17, 2013

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