VT Legislators Decriminalize Embezzlement

MONTPELIER – Citing the rampant and common use of the practice, Vermont legislators have moved to decriminalize embezzlement, dropping the penalties from time in prison to a “stern warning.” The practice of embezzling funds has a long and storied history in the state, with many people in positions of power unable to understand why the practice was ever outlawed to begin with.

The most recent case, which the primarily Democratic legislature says has nothing to do with the timing of the law change, has seen charges filed against Vermont Democratic Party staffer Betty Burndham, who sources say embezzled almost $20,000 in funds, which is just over one month’s rent in Burlington.

Citing the 1963 case of “Finders Keepers vs. Losers Weepers,” the legislature pointed out that anyone smart enough to embezzle funds for so long probably deserves the money, and in fact it shows good American ingenuity rather than a punishable criminal record.

“First of all, I think we can all agree that laws don’t work,” said Democratic Party lawyer Faye Tallystick. “People are going to do what they’re going to do, and we can’t stop them. Why criminalize something that pretty much everyone does? Nobody gets pulled over for going 5 over the speed limit, except in Danby Mt. Tabor, because we’d be pulling every single car over! So why are we trying to lock up people for some light embezzlement? It honestly makes no sense. Some of the highest ranking political leaders in the country are heavy embezzlers, and they seem to be doing just fine.”

Governor Scott has not indicated whether or not he will sign the legislation. Sources close to the governor say that he is torn between his attraction to new financial opportunities and his ongoing love affair with his veto stamp.

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1 Comment

  1. The prevalence of embezzlement in Vermont was one of the first things to catch my eye after I moved here from another far-away state where vandalism was the go-to crime. I wrote about it but got no response. Of course, The Winooski was not around in those days, and neither was VTDigger. I don’t know what the Herald and the Free Press were doing but they didn’t pick it up either. Now I know why.

    Not long after I arrived, the road I lived on had a series of burglaries. I didn’t lose anything (hadn’t lived here long enough to fill the barn with cast-offs) and about all the house had was a sofa bed, some dishes, and some very tiny ladies clothes. I guess they weren’t looking for those.

    When I mentioned the burglaries to my daughter and her husband, they explained that in Vermont burglary was considered a cottage industry. That impressed me. Vermont’s economy has something for everyone, from money managers to squatters. And it keeps the cops employed, and the prisons full. Maybe a little too full. Now that’s a creative economy.

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