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Woman pleads guilty to felony thefts

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DA: employee pocketed propane money

By The Staff

A Mora County woman has pleaded guilty to six felony counts after admitting to a series of thefts at her place of employment.

Antoinette Sanchez, 34, pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud and three counts of embezzlement, all third-degree felonies, according to a news release from District Attorney Richard Flores. She was sentenced to five years probation, he stated.

Sanchez was employed by Pacheco Oil & Gas Co., for about 14 years, according to the news release. According to Flores, “Ms. Sanchez admitted that in cash transactions with customers, she would often prepare the ticket/invoice, receive cash payment for propane and then destroy the invoice and pocket the cash, leaving paid customers without propane.”   

As part of the plea agreement, Sanchez admitted that she took about $27,500.  Under the agreement, she is required to undergo an evaluation at the New Mexico Women’s Correctional/Prison Facility.  

At the final sentencing hearing, District Judge Abigail Aragon placed Sanchez on probation for five years and ordered her to pay full restitution to her victims. She made a $10,000 payment and is required to make monthly payments for the duration of her probation, Flores reported.

“The Pacheco family placed trust in Ms. Sanchez, but she violated that trust. Not only have they had to overcome the financial loss, but they have also had to work on their company’s trust with their those customers that paid for a service, but never received the product,” Flores said. “This, has been just as difficult to overcome as their monetary loss.

“I am hopeful that while on probation, Ms. Sanchez will fully pay the full balance owed and that she will reflect on her wrongdoing.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Thomas Clayton. The defense attorney was Flora Gallegos.