Former Glenwood hotel employee gets probation for theft of $192K
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A former Hotel Colorado accountant, accused of stealing close to $192,000 from the Glenwood Springs hotel over a 16-year period, was sentenced to probation on Tuesday.
The case, which prosecutor Anne Kirkpatrick called “a whopper of a theft,” brought an end to one part of this bizarre trial.
Nina Marie Trujillo, 37, pleaded guilty to one felony count of theft between $1,000 and $20,000, and one count of misdemeanor theft between $500 and $1,000. She was sentenced to four years of supervised probation and 150 hours of useful public service.
However, 9th Judicial District Court Judge Gail Nichols gave Trujillo a deferred sentence for the felony theft count, which means that as long as Trujillo meets all stipulations of her probation, that charge will be removed from her permanent record.
At least two other felony counts of theft were dropped as part of a plea deal offered by prosecutors.
The one thing left to decide is the amount of restitution Trujillo will be required to pay back to the hotel.
According to Hotel Colorado General Manager John Burns, Trujillo cost the hotel upwards of $250,000. However, he told Judge Nichols that the betrayal of the once loyal employee was what hurt the most.
“It was devastating to the morale of the hotel that someone who worked there for so long would do this,” Burns told the judge.
Allegedly, Trujillo took $192,000 in revenue through her position as an accountant with the hotel. Associated costs and an audit of the hotel’s finances over the 16 years she worked for the company cost a reported $58,000.
However, defense attorney Peter Rachesky said that they would contest the amount the hotel found to be stolen.
“I think that we will find that the total amount is much less than this,” Rachesky said.
Judge Nichols set a restitution hearing to be held in July, to determine the amount owed.
Trujillo apologized to the court, and to the hotel for what she had done.
“I betrayed their trust,” Trujillo told Judge Nichols. “I loved the people who worked there and the people I worked with. I am very sorry.”
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