Dunlap gets 15 years’ probation | PostIndependent.com

Dunlap gets 15 years’ probation

Convicted embezzler Cheryl Dunlap was sentenced to 15 years’ probation in 9th District Court Thursday afternoon. She was also ordered to repay Glenwood Springs orthodontist John Traul the $252,087 she took over a five-year period while she was his bookkeeper.In addition, Dunlap was ordered to serve 75 days in the Garfield County Jail, which began immediately after Judge James Boyd handed down his sentence.Dunlap was charged in June with writing 111 bogus checks for $252,087.62 on Traul’s accounts between April 1999 and February 2004.Boyd said the large amount she stole from Traul called for a prison sentence, but doing so would preclude her from paying back even a portion of that amount.In weighing his sentence, he also said that not imposing a prison term would send the wrong message to the community.He said it is important “for the community to realize that this type of stealing has some consequence. … The only reason I’m not considering (prison) is to give you the opportunity to make restitution.””If I get anywhere close to a quarter of a million dollars back I’ll be surprised,” Traul said in the courtroom.Dunlap, appearing tearful and flushed during the proceedings, has been diagnosed with severe depression and is now under psychological treatment and medication.Her attorney, Tom Silverman, of Glenwood Springs, said she has been incapacitated by depression resulting from remorse over her crime.Both Silverman and Deputy District Attorney Jeff Cheney, who prosecuted the case, agreed to the recommendation of the probation department that Dunlap be sentenced to 12 years probation. Boyd added three years, saying that Dunlap needed as much time as possible to pay back the money she stole.Silverman also produced a check for $7,000 Dunlap received in an insurance settlement as a first payment of restitution. She is also expected to make monthly payments to the court and hold down a full-time job during her probation period.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510dgray@postindependent.com

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