Embezzler heads to prison for heading down familiar path | AspenTimes.com

Embezzler heads to prison for heading down familiar path

Tim Mutrie

Convicted embezzler Deborah Trefethen was resentenced Monday to five years in prison at a hearing in 9th Judicial District Court.

In August 1997, Trefethen pleaded guilty to two counts of felony theft for embezzling more than $30,000 from two different valley architectural firms where she had been employed with as a bookkeeper.

Following that conviction, Judge J.E. DeVilbiss sentenced her to eight years of probation and ordered her to serve two years in the Pitkin County Jail with work release. However, in September 1998, Trefethen admitted to violating the conditions of her work release, and her case came up Monday for resentencing.

Wallace Graham, owner of Wally’s Recycling Service, testified yesterday about his professional relationship with Trefethen, who worked for him as a bookkeeper while on work release from the jail from January through September 1998.

Graham said for the most part he was pleased with Trefethen’s work, but said he felt that he’d been taken advantage of when Trefethen wrote herself some unauthorized salary advances. Trefethen and her attorney, Paul Metzger, disputed Graham’s claims, saying the advances in question were either authorized or not substantiated. Judge DeVilbiss didn’t agree.

“Honestly, I don’t have any doubt at all that you were headed in the same direction at Wally’s Recycling,” DeVilbiss said, referring to her earlier misdeeds. Trefethen got herself into trouble at Theodore K. Guy Associates and at Caudill Gustafson and Associates Architects by writing cash advances to herself, according to court records.

“I’ve never asked for a second chance, and I am now,” said Trefethen before sentencing. “I realize I am a criminal and I won’t ever be trusted again, but I did not deliberately deceive Mr. Graham.”

Before handing down the five-year prison term sentence, Judge DeVilbiss said: “The actions you’ve taken speak louder than your statements in court.”

Trefethen will receive credit for 460 days of time served.

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