Convicted embezzler sentenced to five years
September 15, 2005
EAGLE – After 3 1/2 years of court procedures in Eagle County and more indictments in Oklahoma, a former local turned convicted embezzler will go to prison in November.Brandon Outlaw, 33, a former resident of Avon, was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing $600,000 in local homeowners fees and illegally charging $24,000 on his employer’s credit card. Eagle County District Judge Tom Moorhead ordered Outlaw to serve his sentence concurrent with a 63-month long federal sentence he got for three counts of drug felonies in Oklahoma. Moorhead also ordered that Outlaw pay about $700,000 in restitution.In July 2004, Outlaw pleaded guilty in Eagle County to two counts of felony theft and could have ended up in prison for 12 years. But Eagle County prosecutors recommended Outlaw serve the time concurrently with the federal prison sentence. District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said he was very pleased with the outcome.”We’re very happy he got five years in prison and he has to pay full restitution,” Hurlbert said.
But to Jeff Antonius, a Vail Point homeowner and one of Outlaw’s approximately 400 victims, the local sentence shouldn’t be concurrent with the federal one. “I’m disappointed. The fact that he’s doing the two sentences concurrently is an insult to the people from the Vail Valley,” Antonius said. “(The sentences) should be consecutive and not concurrent. “There are two crimes here: Drugs and theft,” he added. “He’s getting a free ride. He stole $800,000 from the people here and there’s no way he will pay that back.”No probationThe Eagle County probation department, which screens those convicted of crimes before they are sentenced, recommended Outlaw go to prison rather than serve probation. The reason for the recommendation, the probation officer said, was that it appeared Outlaw “doesn’t have any empathy for his victims and therefore will probably be less likely to pay the restitution.” The probation officer also said Outlaw shouldn’t be given the privilege of probation because of prior felony convictions. In 1994, Outlaw, who now lives in Tulsa, Okla., was convicted in Oklahoma of felony sexual battery and sentenced to three years in prison. He served a little more than a year before he was released in August 1995.The Eagle County embezzlement case dragged so long because local authorities were waiting for Outlaw’s federal sentencing. He was indicted by an Oklahoma federal grand jury on drug trafficking charges in March 2004 and later convicted of possession and distribution of ecstasy pills and cocaine, court records say.Antonius said Outlaw should have been tried in Colorado for the crimes he did in Colorado. “He’s either getting a freebie for the drugs or the theft,” Antonius added. Court records say Outlaw embezzled about 400 locals through PRM Realty, a now defunct Eagle-Vail property management company for which he worked that did business with numerous homeowner’ associations in the valley. Outlaw, who said he took the money from the homeowners associations to build a house, will begin his sentence on Nov. 2 at a federal prison in Oklahoma or Texas and later at a Colorado prison, Hurlbert said.Vail, Colorado