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More to Final follow-up report -- Denver travel agent's sentencing hearing.

Hi everyone. Over the last year, you have been so kind with your comments, ideas and sympathy after the travel agent stole the money we paid for Trail of Lippizaners Tour. As you know, it was not just us she stole from, but at least nine people on multiple tours.

My friend Su and I presented our Victims' Comments in Denver Court last Friday, talking about not only the money impact, but also the emotional impact of Therese's theft. The ordeal is over. Therese is sentenced to 90 days in jail and four years probation. As we already knew, she has no money so restitution will be non-existent. Jail time is to start this week.

We met with the DA in the morning to find out what to expect in court. He listened sympathetically while we talked. Because of Therese's age and no prior record, he was concerned that she would not get jail time, so essentially get off the hook for her crime. In court, the DA presented a very good case why she should get jail time because there had to be punishment for her crime.

Her public defender lawyer was two hours late for the hearing, knowing that we had flights to catch. The judge allowed us to testify as soon as he arrived because we had 20 minutes at most before we had to leave for the airport. Her lawyer then tried to say Therese made an uninformed mistake by co-mingling personal and business money and that she was terrified of going to jail and worried about her cat. He also drug out the testimony past the time we had to leave for the airport. I understand from the DA that the judge was not pleased with lawyer's behavior and said that Therese had been in business 20 years and knew what she was doing.

A DA investigator drove us to the airport. The DA called us enroute with the verdict report; he was amazed at the sentence. With 18 years experience in the department, he expected Therese to be sentenced to 10 days. Both the DA and the investigator said it was helpful that Su and I were in court so the trip to Denver was worth it.

So it's over. We won't get any money. But there is satisfaction that she's going to jail and will never be able to cheat people again. Now it's time to move on to planning May's RS South of Italy tour with my sister-in-law.

Thanks again everyone for your support.
Kathy

Read my update down-thread. You won’t believe it.

Posted by
7115 posts

worried about her cat

That was the best she had.???

Glad it is over; unfortunate she had no assets to be seized.

Posted by
930 posts

Kathy - I'm glad she's going to jail and I'm so glad you were able to wait for the hearing. Sounds like her lawyer is just as much of a jackass as her. I'm sure he was hoping you wouldn't wait around. Good to hear you finally have closure on this.

Posted by
2637 posts

Good for you protecting others from this charlatan. I don't understand why her lawyer wasn't disciplined.

Posted by
1684 posts

Harumpf!! She got a slap on the wrist as far as I am concerned.
But, it’s time to move on! Enjoy your trip planning!

Posted by
4453 posts

Kathy, thanks for the update. And have a wonderful trip to Italy next year.

Posted by
8009 posts

Kathy, joining the chorus! Nance's post speaks for me as well. And Cala's! Well, and everyone's.

Glad it's over and at least she is going to do some time in jail. I want to hope she will reflect on her felonious misdeeds every hour of every day but I suspect she feels no remorse so will do no reflection.

Yes, now...on to Italy!

PS You know I'm an unapologetic RS fan-girl. I'll guarantee you if his company goes bust before your tour, I'll personally repay you.

Posted by
5538 posts

Excellent! I'm guessing this conviction will show up on her BBB report (or at least under the travel agency name -- hope they have a cross-reference ability.)

Posted by
1042 posts

Thanks for sharing your good news. I was only one of many on the Forum who followed your story with first excitement and then horror and outrage.
All my best going forward (in all possible ways!)
SharYn

Posted by
996 posts

Wow. I am SO impressed by how you have followed through with this. I know many people who would have not have done what you've done. I'm sorry that you won't be able to get your money back, but wow - words fail me.

Thank you for sharing this journey with us. I hope that your trip will be the most amazing thing ever.

Posted by
852 posts

horsewoofie,

I have followed your story since your first post on this website. We live in the Denver area, but I didn't know about your court date or I would have been tempted to show up for moral support for you and other victims.

I'm glad she got jail time!! In business 20 years and didn't know not to co-mingle funds!?! What a lie.

I hope you keep posting about your future travel plans, we are all cheering for you to have a great trip and really want to hear about it. Or help with any questions that you have!

Good luck and have a great trip!
Mimi

Posted by
852 posts

By the way, I wanted to tell you that I'm glad the DA and the Judge were so supportive! Can you tell me who the Judge was?

Thanks,
Mimi

Posted by
6243 posts

Glad to hear about this resolution. If you didn't get your money back, at least you get the satisfaction of seeing her punished for her behavior towards you and others. I'm happy for you getting this closure. Happy travels in the future.

Posted by
2901 posts

Her public defender lawyer was two hours late for the hearing, knowing that we had flights to catch.

That's probably why the lawyer was late. A typical trick.
I'm impressed at how you persevered, and also how the DA's office followed through so well.

Posted by
1526 posts

Glad the DA and the judge came through for you.

Unfortunately all defense lawyers aren‘t like Perry Mason and Matlock, but are often scum. I believe that lawyers continually delayed a murder trial at which my elderly friend was the only eyewitness, hoping that she would die before the trial. But she was a tough old bird and lived to testify. Both defendents were convicted and executed.

Posted by
5538 posts

Although I would think the defense lawyer (public defender) was late more because he/she was overloaded with cases than a scheme based on witnesses' flight plans -- now, if it had been a private attorney who was billing the client by the hour ....

Posted by
3421 posts

Glad to hear the matter has been resolved, but dismayed to hear she just got the proverbial slap on the wrist. But it is what it is -- at least for the time being. Karma often works in mysterious ways. Try to just put it behind you and enjoy Italy.

Posted by
942 posts

I'd also believe the public defender was probably late because of the overload of cases-their workload is crazy and with little pay. I'm glad everything worked out and the lenient sentence was probably because she was an older, middle class, first offender. Sad but true. At least you got to tell your story.

Posted by
293 posts

What a long saga this has been! I remember so clearly your disappointment last year; now justice has been done. Happy travels from here on out!

warm wishes,
Shelley

Posted by
31219 posts

Kathy,

It's great to hear that this matter has finally been resolved, although a bit disappointing that you won't be able to recover at least part of your money. Has she got any assets at all? While 90 days isn't a very long sentence, at least she was convicted and hopefully she'll learn a valuable lesson about scamming people. Your tenacity on following this through is commendable!

I'm sure you'll have an incredible time on the RS South Italy tour, and it will more than make up for the unpleasant experience you've had with Therese.

Happy travels!

Posted by
1267 posts

I'm so happy she went to jail.
I always wondered what the outcome of all this was, so now we know.
However, I'm outraged that none of you got any money back.
Where did all the money she stole go?
Wouldn't she have to liquidate any assets (home, car, possessions?) to repay you all at least some money?
Anyway, you seem pleased, and now can start planning a great trip for next year!
Thanks for letting us know.

Posted by
20972 posts

However, I would sue in civil court for money lost and obtain a judgement. And then record the judgement. You may never seen the money but it is hanging over her should she win the lottery or have a windfall from an unknown source. You can do the same to the max of small claims court. The judgement also hangs on the credit report.

Posted by
1172 posts

You’re going to love this. She is appealing the sentence saying she’s old (75) and sickly and will die if she goes to jail.

Don’t even get me started. I can no longer be nice. She can either pay all the victims our money or rot in jail. We thought we were done with her BS.

Posted by
20972 posts

Appeals are common and routine. She might get it cut in half but she is still going to jail. For her 30 days would be significant. But I would still good after her in small claims.

Posted by
1172 posts

Frank, the money i’d spend to go Denver for small claims court will be much better spent in Italy in May. I’m mad but done with her except to write a letter to the judge in behalf of the victims.

Posted by
31219 posts

I'm not familiar with the justice system in Colorado, but I believe appeals are only allowed here if there was a legal error with the original conviction (ie: the judge erred in his instructions to the jury or whatever). The appeal in this case may not go too far.

Posted by
6243 posts

Ken, it sounds like she's not appealing the judgement, just appealing the sentence - which she can do in American courts if she has good reason, which of course will be up to the judge to decide. She sounds like a real piece of work. Doing her time now and getting it over with would be easier than dragging it out with appeals, unless she's actually seriously ill.

Posted by
1172 posts

Nancy, you’re right. I understand that she is appealing the sentence because she doesn’t want to go to jail. She’s proven that she’s con artist and has no remorse about that she did. She has blamed the victims for her problems. Sadly two of her older victims have died.

Posted by
3108 posts

This continues to be a difficult and hard situation for you. I am sorry! I am glad you have some fun trips scheduled and have something to look forward to.

Posted by
503 posts

As hard as this must be, try to just forget about her. The Court has proved her guilt and whether or not she spends any time in jail, that verdict will stand and be on her record forever. You did everything you could and now it is all out of your hands. Write your letter to the judge expressing dismay if her sentence is reduced and wash your hands of the matter. Plan and look forward to your trip to Italy with your SIL. You will have a wonderful time and it will be your reward for your past year or so of grief over this issue. It has already sucked enough life out of you, don't give it anymore.

Posted by
31219 posts

"it sounds like she's not appealing the judgement, just appealing the sentence - which she can do in American courts if she has good reason, which of course will be up to the judge to decide."

That appeal process didn't seem to work too well for Cosby earlier this week.