Woman siphoned state funds for liposuction | PostIndependent.com

Woman siphoned state funds for liposuction

Staff Report

A former Garfield County Social Services employee pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of embezzling state funds, according to 9th Judicial District Court documents.

Selene Gamez Avitia, 32, of Silt, is set to be sentenced in Garfield District Court on April 17.

Avitia, who worked as an eligibility technician, took $3,756 in state funds from February to July 2000. She used the money for liposuction and a tummy tuck, in order to “elicit sympathy from family, friends, co-workers and her former husband,” according to court documents filed in the case.

Avitia stole the money by filing $3,756 in emergency benefits for a Social Services client who did not apply for them. Social Services began investigating Avitia in September 2000, after the client applied for food stamps and denied having received the emergency funds. Avitia quit her job later that year.

Embezzlement is a Class V felony, carrying a penalty of one to three years in state prison and a fine of $1,000 to $100,000.

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