Embezzler to remain in jail | VailDaily.com

Embezzler to remain in jail

EAGLE — An admitted embezzler’s sentence won’t change, and the judge said she’s doing fine right where she is.

Allison Butler-Coyle pleaded guilty last year to six felonies for embezzling more than $129,000 total from three local businesses. She originally faced 36 felony counts and 20 years in state prison.

She has served one year of a 10-year sentence in community corrections, a work release program that enables her to work and repay the money she stole.

On Wednesday, Butler-Coyle asked for probation instead of incarceration, saying she could pay the money back faster if she could work two or three jobs.

District Court Judge Paul Dunkelman said one year in community corrections and probation is not enough, and would not be fair to the victims.

He said that community corrections is working, and that she has “only been there a year.”

Butler-Coyle stole the money over a five-year period from three local businesses where she was working as a bookkeeper — Hospitality Trends, Alpine Party Rentals and Schofield Excavation. She wrote checks to herself by forging the business owner’s signature. She also created accounts and then deposited the businesses’ money into her accounts, hiding it in line items like fuel costs.

The owner of Alpine Party Rentals loaned her jewelry to wear on her wedding day.

“They had established friendships. She wasn’t just an employee. It was someone they had made part of their families,” said Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Wiard.

Butler-Coyle’s caper was discovered by one business, and they notified the other.

She claimed in her presentencing investigation that it was easy, because no one was watching, Wiard said.

She told Dunkelman that she spent the money on her and her husband’s cocaine habits.

“I am glad I was caught. It’s a blessing I was caught,” Butler-Coyle said. “I wanted to get sober. I wanted to stop. I wanted to confess. I hated what I did to my victims. I know they have suffered because of me.”

In her community corrections program, Butler-Coyle works 60 hours a week at $8 an hour. She argued that she’s paying as much restitution as she can.

In a year, Alpine Party Rentals has received $261.35 in restitution, said owner Rachel Smiley. Wednesday’s hearing was her sixth trip to court to deal with the situation.

“It was impressive, the amount of time and energy she put into stealing from us. It appears that she is putting that time and energy into trying to get out of this,” Smiley said. “If I had known this a year ago, I would have asked for a trial and that she go to prison.”

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.