A third party claimant has been awarded part of the restitution funds paid to the court by Jacque Nelson, who was convicted of defrauding the Bouse School District.
Nelson, who was convicted of two crimes against the school district 26 miles east of Parker, paid $43,000 in restitution to the court as part of her plea agreement. During the Judgment, Sentencing and Distribution Hearings last week, several individuals claiming to be victims of Ms. Nelson described their losses to the court. Superior Court Judge Robert C. Olson issued the final orders, which included awarding restitution to one individual, Kirk Wilson, who the court found had a colorable claim of $4,050 of the total.
The Judge ordered the distribution of the remaining $38,950 and vacated the final restitution hearing set for later this month. The court ordered that the school district be paid in full, and that the remainder of the $43,000 be paid to the insurance company as partial reimbursement, with the remainder to be paid in monthly installments when Nelson is released from prison.
Nelson was convicted pursuant to a plea agreement negotiated by County Attorney Tony Rogers. For the crime of theft she will serve 1.5 years in the Arizona State Department of Corrections. For the crime of fraudulent schemes, a class 2 felony, she will serve 7 years of supervised “White collar” probation to follow her release from prison.
White collar probation is a strict program which will require that the probation department monitor all aspects of Nelson’s financial dealings. She is prohibited from incurring new debts without permission and from gambling. In addition she is required to submit to a review of all her accounting records. Nelson is also required to release information for all banking accounts and tax returns, not open new checking accounts, provide proof of all household income and pay a minimum of 10% of that household income toward restitution to the victims. She must also notify any employer of this conviction.
Violation of this probation could result in an additional prison sentence of up to 12.5 years.
“The plea agreement was structured to provide justice, community safety, and restitution,” Rogers said, “compensating the Bouse School District for all of its financial losses, including nearly $20,000 for the cost of the forensic accounting and investigation into the theft.”
“This was Ms. Nelson’s first criminal conviction,” Rogers added. “While prison is not the norm for a first time conviction, this case was unique due to the number and severity of the offenses and victims discovered during the investigation. The seven years of White Collar probation following her incarceration ensures that the community will be protected from future financial crimes by Ms. Nelson through close monitoring of her financial dealings. And finally, the prison sentence sends the right message, that perpetrators of financial crime will be held accountable in La Paz County.”