Former CU running back, Bobby Purify, began a 2-day jail sentence today for a felony theft case in Boulder County. The jail stay is only part of his sentence. He was also sentenced to probation with community service hours and payment of restitution. Purify was charged with theft of over $13,000. He was an employee at Wells Fargo in Boulder at the time. He had money missing from his cash drawer and deposits were short for a few businesses. Purify resigned shortly after missing money was reported. He apologized for his conduct and said he took the money to help a family member pay some medical bills.
Purify pled guilty to a lower level theft than he was charged with as part of a plea bargain, but it was nonetheless a felony. Whether theft is a petty offense, a misdemeanor or a felony typically depends on how much money is alleged to have been stolen. The more money, more serious the crime. There are certain types of theft, such as embezzlement, that have more to do with the manner in which the money is stolen than the amount at issue. Other crimes can also be committed in connection with theft that are always a felony. For example, ID theft is a class 4 felony. An example of ID theft is when a person uses another person’s credit card without permission. Even if the person charged only used the card to make a $500 purchase, the ID theft is felony.
Restitution is the amount stolen by the person guilty of the theft. A person must be found guilty of theft, either through a plea bargain or following a trial, in order to be responsible for restitution payment. People are also entitled to a hearing to determine the exact amount owed. So, if a person is charged with theft and the prosecution alleges that $10,000 was stolen, but the person charged believes only $5,000 was stolen, that person may be guilty of theft, but may be allowed to have a hearing to force the prosecution to prove that $10,000 is owed.
Often times, payment of restitution is part of plea negotiations in theft cases, especially if there is a large amount of money at issue. Not always, but sometimes, the prosecution will offer a better plea bargain if restitution can be paid in full upfront because it is important to the prosecution that the victim is made financially whole as quickly as possible. There is another advantage to paying the restitution as quickly as possible: by law, interest is assessed on any amount of restitution.
Purify said he only stole about $12,000, but the judge ordered him to pay a little over $13,000. Payment of this amount can be spread out over the course of his probation sentence.