Woman who admitted stealing from teens wants to wait to begin her one-year jail sentence | VailDaily.com

Woman who admitted stealing from teens wants to wait to begin her one-year jail sentence

Holly Sandoval, left, was sentenced Wednesday to one year in jail and four years probation for embezzling thousands of dollars from a charity for teens. She she asked Thursday that she be allowed to start her sentence Monday instead of Friday, as the judge ordered. Assistant District Attorney Heidi McCollum, standing, said Sandoval should begin her sentence on time.
Randy Wyrick|randy@vaildaily.com |

EAGLE — Holly Sandoval wants to wait the weekend before she goes to jail.

The prosecutors handling the case were unmoved. They want her in jail by Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

Sandoval, 49, of Eagle, admitted she stole thousands of dollars from a charity for teens.

Judge Paul Dunkelman sentenced her Wednesday to a year in jail and four years probation. He ordered her to jail by 5 p.m. Friday.

Thursday afternoon Sandoval filed a motion asking that she not be forced to report to the Eagle County jail until 5 p.m. Monday.

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In her motion, filed by her attorney Terry O’Connor, Sandoval said her employer, who has to sign her work release documents, was out of town and won’t be back until Monday.

She offered to be placed on home detention until Monday.

Go directly to jail

Heidi McCollum, the assistant district attorney handling the case, called Sandoval’s argument “irrelevant.”

“This is nothing more than a delay tactic … to postpone her incarceration,” McCollum wrote in her response to Sandoval’s motion.

Any documents Sandoval needs can be faxed or emailed while she’s in jail, according to Ken Brown, who manages the jail’s work release program.

It makes no difference whether Sandoval submits that request Friday or Monday, McCollum said. Her detention should not be altered to fit her or her employer’s schedule, McCollum said.

Judge Dunkelman had not ruled by Thursday’s deadline.

What Sandoval did

Sandoval admitted taking $7,000 from the Eagle Valley High School’s 2013 Project Graduation fund. The Project Graduation fund was intended to be used for a congratulatory celebration for the seniors on the night of their graduation.

Eagle Valley’s Project Graduation tradition goes back 30 years.

Sandoval stole the money by forging checks, collecting cash raised at various fundraisers but not depositing the cash, and writing checks to herself with notes indicating false memos.

In one instance, she said the funds were intended for graduation tassels. However, graduation had occurred a full month earlier and the 133 Eagle Valley seniors had paid for their own tassels.

The scheme to defraud began in late 2012 when Sandoval, acting as the Project Graduation treasurer, began writing checks to herself for cash.

Project Graduation’s accountant discovered the systematic fraud when preparing the organization’s 2014 tax return.

The investigation recovered a bag of Project Graduation funds, nine months after the EVHS Class of 2013 had graduated.

Sandoval told sheriff’s deputies, she was “storing” the money.

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

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