Friday, November 25, 2022

Former NNMC finance director pleads responsible to embezzlement

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Sep. 30—A decade after stealing about $80,000 from Northern New Mexico School, the college’s former monetary providers director Henrietta Trujillo has pleaded responsible to 1 rely of felony embezzlement as a part of a plea deal which has been about 5 years within the making.

She’ll be required to pay again the cash, spend two years on home arrest with digital monitoring adopted by 5 years’ probation and serve about 384 hours of group service underneath the phrases of her settlement with prosecutors, in keeping with the First Judicial District Lawyer’s Workplace.

Trujillo, who pleaded responsible and was sentenced at a listening to in Tierra Amarilla on Thursday, took about $200,000 value of money and checks meant to be deposited within the school’s financial institution accounts over two and a half years between 2012 and 2014, in keeping with earlier stories and courtroom data. She spent the money however by no means deposited or cashed the checks, which totaled about $167,000.

She admitted the theft in 2017, in keeping with a state police report, telling investigators she took the cash as a result of she had monetary issues, together with having her wages garnished for unpaid state taxes and having to assist pay for most cancers therapies for her mom and sister. She denied having a playing downside, regardless of police having verified she spent greater than $500,000 at space casinos throughout the roughly 10-year interval she labored for the Española-based school, in keeping with earlier stories.

District Lawyer Mary Carmack-Altwies stated in an electronic mail Thursday the plea requires Trujillo to get remedy for playing dependancy.

It took courtroom officers virtually 5 years to agree upon acceptable penalties for the now 66-year-old Corrales girl.

State District Choose Jason Lidyard rejected two plea agreements the District Lawyer’s Workplace supplied Trujillo in 2019 and 2020, saying they had been too lenient compared to sentences imposed on different defendants accused of stealing lesser quantities, resembling shoplifters.

Trujillo’s protection legal professional Ben Ortega didn’t reply to a name in search of remark Thursday. Nonetheless, he argued in current courtroom motions Trujillo’s well being was too fragile for her to do jail time.

“Henrietta Trujillo is infirm; any little factor that occurs to her might result in a disastrous final result for her,” Ortega instructed The New Mexican in July. “I do not need going to jail to develop into a demise sentence for her health-wise.”

Trujillo has hip and knee points that may require surgical procedure, suffers from nervousness that previously has brought about her to be hospitalized and is the only caregiver for her husband who has lung illness, in keeping with courtroom data.

The protection lawyer argued in a current movement home arrest is technically incarceration, and Trujillo’s age and well being make her unlikely to reoffend.

The plea Lidyard accepted Thursday carries an extended interval of digital monitoring than earlier agreements prosecutors had supplied Trujillo — calling for Trujillo to spend two years on home arrest and/or digital monitoring, versus 90 to 182 days as introduced underneath the earlier plea proposal.

Jake Arnold, government director of the NNMC advocacy group La Sociedad Venceslao Jaramillo, named for the faculty’s founder, requested the choose to reject the deal.

He and others school supporters thought some jail time would have been acceptable for Trujillo and wished to see the case go to trial in hopes proof introduced there would forged some gentle on how she was in a position to divert the cash undetected for such a very long time, he stated Thursday.

However, Arnold stated, the group was happy the choose emphasised Trujillo is anticipated to remain at residence whereas serving her sentence with solely restricted exceptions for leaving her residence, resembling medical appointments.

Northern New Mexico School interim President Barbara Medina stated the college appears to be like ahead to utilizing the restitution cash to help needy college students.

“It is a unhappy chapter in Northern’s historical past however we need to transfer ahead and proceed to help our college students,” she stated.

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