Embezzler receives eight years supervised probation | CraigDailyPress.com

Embezzler receives eight years supervised probation

Paul Shockley

Judge Joel Thompson accepted the bulk of a probation officer’s pre-sentence recommendations for Robin McKenzie, and ordered the 36-year-old confessed embezzler to complete eight years of supervised probation Monday.

McKenzie also was ordered to pay $48,218 in court costs and restitution to the two local non-profit agencies from which she pleaded guilty to stealing more than $38,000. She has one year to make restitution.

McKenzie, the former executive director of the Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition and a former case worker with Moffat County Partners, also was sentenced to two days in Moffat County Jail, ordered to complete 200 hours of useful public service, and attend credit counseling as scheduled by her probation officer.

Thompson, in a deviation from McKenzie’s pre-sentence report, also ordered her to enroll in, and complete, a mental health treatment program through a Phoenix-area doctor whom McKenzie’s attorney said she has been seeing.

Following McKenzie’s July 1 guilty plea to class-three felony and class-six misdemeanor charges of theft, Thompson ordered that she receive a mental-health evaluation.

McKenzie, who was allowed to travel to Arizona to seek work after her guilty plea, has since been diagnosed by doctors there as suffering from depression and disassociation, Kristopher Hammond her attorney with Oliphant, Hammond, O’Hara and Atwell told the court.

Hammond said she is currently receiving counseling for the illnesses and has been placed on prescription medication.

She’s employed at a Subway store in Phoenix and plans to permanently relocate to the city while paying off restitution, he said.

Thompson, concluding Monday’s hearing in a brisk 20 minutes, also prohibited McKenzie from entering into any financial contracts without pre-approval from her probation officer, on top of the officer’s stipulation against opening a bank account.

She also must return all federal and state tax refunds until restitution is paid, according to the pre-sentence report. McKenzie avoided state prison time with her guilty plea this summer. She faced up to 32 years in prison, and fines as high as $500,000.

David Waite, deputy district attorney, said he would have pushed for additional jail time, if not for significant restitution owed to victims.

McKenzie wrote $37,639.63 in unauthorized checks to herself from the local dental coalition’s bank account; including 11 of her own bi-monthly salary paychecks at $1,798.44; above her salary of $798.44, according to court records.

She left the group then took a job with Moffat County Partners in February. Partners, which pairs at-risk children with adult mentors, eventually discovered missing deposits of $90 and $62. McKenzie also was believed to have stolen $127 from the group’s Easter Egg fund-raiser, court records state.

The Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition provides dental care to uninsured children who qualify financially.

“The dental coalition has made huge fund-raising efforts to get some of that money back, but at one time it looked like this was something they’d never recover from,” Waite told Thompson prior to sentencing.

McKenzie, in a brief statement to the court, was apologetic.

“I’m very sorry all this happened and I do take full responsibility,” McKenzie told Thompson. “I will make it right.”

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com

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