Former Linfield student convicted after pleading guilty to theft charges

A former Linfield sophomore who stole hundreds of dollars from one fellow student and three Nordstrom gift cards from another was convicted of two counts of second-degree theft and one count of third-degree theft Aug. 1 in Yamhill County Circuit Court.
William Chou, 20, pleaded guilty to the two counts of second-degree theft and one count of third-degree theft.
Chou was sentenced to two days in jail, five days on a jail work crew, 40 hours of community service and 24 months of probation. Court documents also reveal that Chou was ordered to take a mental health evaluation and follow through with any recommended counseling.
As part of a plea agreement by Deputy District Attorney Meuy Chao and Chou’s attorney, Mark Cogan, three counts of identity theft and one count each of second and third-degree theft were dismissed, according to court documents.
Chou was arrested in April after two students filed reports of theft with the McMinnville Police
Kaia Machalek, class of ’12, turned in a Citizen Crime Report in March stating that her ATM card and PIN had been used without her permission on three different occasions. The total of the transactions was $626 in ATM withdrawals from a machine located on campus.
Junior Natalie Cohrs had also reported having three Nordstrom gift cards stolen.
Both students were friends with Chou.
As a result of the two reports, Chou was identified as a suspect. When officers contacted him, he admitted to the thefts, according to court documents.
Chou arranged to pay $700 in restitution to Machalek and $100 to Cohrs to be delivered by the McMinnville Police Department, as he is not to have contact with either student, according to court documents.
Chou declined to comment about the case.
However, he no longer attends Linfield, he said.
Chou was majoring in elementary education and music-piano performance at Linfield. He was also a student caller for the Linfield College Department of Annual Giving, an office assistant and usher for the Linfield Music Department and was a peer adviser for 2011-12 Colloquium.

Jessica Prokop
Jessica Prokop can be reached at

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