Gaston County Woman Facing Criminal Charges After Stealing From Her Employer

Posted by Josh Valentine | Feb 28, 2018

Leslie Helton Eaves, a local Gaston County woman, is facing criminal charges for theft after stealing more than $600 from her employer. According to reports, the owners of Dan's Restaurant in Bessemer City became suspicious when they noticed that cash was missing from the register. As it turns out, the employee they had entrusted to look after the register had pocketed at least $600 of the restaurant's money. Police arrested the employee and took her into custody. She was released on an unsecured bond but must address the criminal accusations in court.

Theft in North Carolina

The Gaston County employee will likely be charged with theft for taking property that belonged to her employer. Theft can be broadly defined to mean taking property belonging to another person without consent. Crimes of theft are committed with an intent to deprive the property owners of the use and/or enjoyment of their own property.

In North Carolina, there are several different ways that a theft can be committed. Each crime has distinct qualities, but each involves the unlawful taking of property. Types of theft crimes in North Carolina include concealment, larceny, false pretenses, and embezzlement.

Theft by Embezzlement

The owners of Dan's Restaurant in Bessemer City have accused their cashier of stealing money that she was entrusted to care for. Since the employee was trusted to watch after the company's money she may face criminal charges for embezzlement. Most of us tend to think of embezzlement as a white collar crime involving a great deal of money committed by the wealthy. In reality, almost anyone who steals property that has been entrusted to them can be charged with embezzlement.

Embezzlement, which is charged under North Carolina G.S. 14-90, applies to any person who:

  1. Exercises a public trust;
  2. Holds public office;
  3. Is a guardian, administrator, executor, trustee, or fiduciary; or
  4. Is an officer, agent, consignee, clerk, bailee, or servant of any person or corporation.

Since Eaves was an employee for the restaurant and entrusted to take care of the cash register, the state's embezzlement laws may apply. The restaurant owners specifically explained that she was appointed to the register because they trusted her.

Penalties for Theft and Embezzlement

In North Carolina, a crime of theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The charge generally depends on the value of the property that is stolen. Crimes of theft involving property valued at $1,000 or less are generally misdemeanors. Crimes of theft involving property valued at greater than $1,000 are generally charged as felonies.

Gaston County Theft Attorney

Since Eaves is facing criminal charges for theft, she will likely seek the advice and counsel of a local criminal defense attorney. Hiring an attorney to handle her case will increase her chances of securing a favorable plea deal or defeating the charges in their entirety. If you are facing criminal charges for theft in Gaston County, do not hesitate to contact the criminal defense attorneys at Caulder & Valentine for help. We offer a consultation so that you can learn about the seriousness of the charges against you and which legal options you may have.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar