Embezzler gets 1-year sentence
November 1, 2005
MINDEN – A Zephyr Cove woman was ordered Tuesday to serve one year in Douglas County Jail for embezzling more than half-million dollars from the family of gaming pioneer Harvey Gross.
Carol A. Colvin, 54, worked as a bookkeeper for 17 years for Vera Gross and daughter and son-in-law Vera Lou and Richard Kudrna.
She admitted taking the money to finance a gambling addiction.
“I can’t say how appalled I am at what I have done,” she said at the conclusion of a 21Ú2-hour sentencing hearing before District Judge Dave Gamble.
“I loved them as if they were my own family. I would like to apologize again and say how embarrassed and humiliated I am at my own actions. My addiction is not an excuse. There is no excuse.”
Prosecutor Mark Jackson said investigators traced the missing checks as far back as seven years.
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“This is not one crime,” he said. “In 2004, she committed 113 crimes, acts of embezzlement and forgery. Over the course of seven years, Carol Colvin committed 500 to 800 crimes. Over seven years – every third day – she stole from Vera Gross or the Kudrnas.”
Even though Colvin was ordered to repay $553,950.97, Jackson said complete restitution was unlikely.
Gamble sentenced Colvin to 72 months in prison, suspended, with a minimum of 24 months before she would be eligible for parole.
He ordered her to serve a year in jail with credit for 166 days served on house arrest.
She is forbidden to gamble and must provide proof that she is attending at least three Gamblers Anonymous meetings a week and continuing counseling. He placed her on five years probation.
She may have no contact with the victims and is subject to random search and seizure for evidence of gambling or embezzlement. Colvin is ordered to tell any employer of her conviction.
She pleaded guilty in August to felony embezzlement.
Gamble said a prison term would have been no longer than the time she must spend in jail.
“I have never had a case with this much money stolen and nothing to show for it,” he said.
“There are probably people in this courtroom who believe Ms. Colvin has been punished enough by herself. But there have in effect been hundreds and hundreds of felonies committed by Ms. Colvin.
“Mrs. Gross and the Kudrnas have been victimized by a person in whom they placed the highest trust,” he said.
Colvin’s lawyer, Michael Roeser, said she was adamant that she would repay the family.
“She’s penniless,” he said. “She has no job, she lives in a rental home. All she’s got are all these people here and that speaks volumes.”
Several people spoke on her behalf including her former husband, two counselors and longtime friends.
Lawyer Michael Rowe, speaking on behalf of the victims, said Vera Gross felt “complete betrayal of trust,” by Colvin’s dishonesty.
“More than a trusted employee, Ms. Colvin was kept on as a personal assistant as part of Mr. Kudrna’s severance package with Harveys.”
She was arrested in May after the family was notified of irregularities in their bank portfolio management account.