Frommer pleads guilty in Aspen check fraud
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
ASPEN ” Check fraud artist Peter Frommer pleaded guilty Monday to two felonies and one misdemeanor in connection with writing a string of bad checks to Aspen merchants and others in the winter of 2006-’07.
Frommer, 33, of Aspen, entered the pleas in a hearing at Pitkin County District Court. Judge James Boyd accepted the pleas and set an April 20 sentence hearing.
The pleas were entered as part of a deal brokered with Aspen prosecutors. The agreement called for Frommer to plead guilty to a third- and fourth-degree felony and a single misdemeanor offense.
The felony counts will be deferred, meaning the conviction will not go on Frommer’s record provided he completes the terms of his probation. The misdemeanor will stand permanently.
The deferred period will be three years, provided the judge agrees.
The third-degree felony is theft of $15,000 or more. The fourth-degree count is theft of $5,000 to $15,000. The misdemeanor is a class-three offense of fraud by check of $100 to $500.
Frommer must also pay full restitution. The total has been estimated at $160,000, and includes about $90,000 that Frommer has repaid since his arrest in February 2007.
Should Frommer, who was originally charged with more than 30 felony counts of fraud, fail to abide by the probationary terms, he faces a potentially long stretch in state prison.
The potential penalty for the third-degree felony count is up to 24 years behind bars, based on state sentencing guidelines. The maximum sentence on the fourth-degree felony count is 12 years.
He could also be fined upward of $1 million for both counts.
“I did it to get it over with,” said Frommer of the guilty pleas. “And not have it linger on anymore.
“I apologize and regret whatever happened here.”
Frommer and his defense attorney, Robert Koenig, were presented with other options, according to Deputy District Attorney Arnold P. Mordkin.
One offer called for Frommer to plead guilty to the fourth-degree felony count and one misdemeanor provided that he was able to make full restitution by Monday. The other option would have been to go to trial.
Despite the agreement Monday, a couple of issues were left unresolved, including restitution to another individual apart from this case. Boyd is to address that matter in April.
Koening made a request to have his client’s passport returned so Frommer could travel for business purposes. The passport was earlier surrendered to authorities and was ordered to be returned.
Boyd said he would “entertain certain requests” for travel.
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