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Monday, June 17, 2013

Weird news - Man sentenced to 3 years in jail for not paying bill

Seems a bit strange. What was the normal expectation when you go to a restaurant and then refuse to pay the tab once you are done with your food and drinks. In older days, the joke used to be that you would be expected to roll up your sleeves and spend the rest of the evening and the night doing cleaning of all the dishes as compensation for the expense. In modern times, this is no longer insisted upon (you would not want to get sued by the person being forced to do the dishes later on), instead you could call the police and they would take the next action.
However, typically you would expect some minimal action on the person, or some settlement between the person and the restaurant. But would you ever expect this to result in a 3 year jail sentence ? Seems odd, but this is exactly what happened in an Illinois trial where prosecutors sought a theft charge on the person and the charge stuck because of his past history. Seems very odd (click here for the news article):

CHARLESTON, Ill. – A Mattoon man was sentenced to three years in prison after authorities say he skipped out on a $70 restaurant bill after ordering an appetizer, drinks and an entree. Anthony M. Malabehar, 47, pleaded guilty to felony theft charges after authorities say he didn't pay for his meal at the Alamo Steak House in Mattoon. Authorities tell the Mattoon Journal-Gazette that the April theft took place about a month after Malabehar was convicted of a similar theft from another eastern Illinois restaurant. Prosecutors say he was charged with a felony because of his previous criminal record includes other theft convictions.

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