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Former NM college official guilty in embezzlement scheme

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A former official at Northern New Mexico College has pleaded guilty in an embezzlement scheme she admitted to hatching more than a decade ago but will serve no jail time.

Instead, Henrietta Trujillo will be required to repay about $80,000 she stole from the college and spend two years on house arrest, followed by substantial community service and five years' probation, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Trujillo was the financial services director at the college in Española when she admitted to taking the money and another $167,000 in checks that she never cashed. Investigators began the probe after the state Auditor's Office discovered about $200,000 was missing. Judges rejected plea agreements in 2019 and again 2020, saying they were too lenient.

Trujillo's lawyer told the New Mexican earlier this year that his client was infirm and said in recent court motions that her health was to fragile to handle a prison sentence. Trujillo is now 66 and lives in Corrales.

"I don't want going to jail to become a death sentence for her health-wise," attorney Ben Ortega told the newspaper in July.

District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said in an email to the newspaper after Thursday's court hearing in Tierra Amarilla where she entered the plea and was sentenced that the agreement requires Trujillo to get therapy for gambling addiction.