Morris pleads guilty to theft, forgery

By Trudy Balcom

tbalcom@rawlinstimes.com

RAWLINS — A woman who was involved in stealing cash from the motor vehicle desk while working in the Carbon County Treasurer’s Office pleaded guilty Thursday morning in Carbon County District Court.

Judge Michael Deegan, of Campbell County, presided over the hearing.

Diane Morris, 55, of Rawlins, told the court she knew what she was doing, and that she knew she would be caught. She spoke softly and looked down at her hands much of the time.

Morris pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and one count of forgery. She will be sentenced at a later date.

Morris, guided by her attorney, H. Michael Bennett, explained to the court how she perpetrated the thefts.

“These thefts — what did they involve?” Bennett asked her.

“Cash,” Morris replied.

“How did you first start stealing the cash?”

“Someone would come in and pay for their license tabs with cash. Later I would take it out, then void out the registration,” Morris replied.

“Did at some point,” Bennet asked, “you change the way you stole the money?”

“Yes, I used sales tax. I put in more of a trade-in, a rebate, than they really got and took the difference,” Morris said.

Morris also admitted to forging customer’s names when necessary to complete documents.

Morris, a clerk in the County Treasurer’s office, handled vehicle title transfers and sales tax. She was arrested Jan. 26.

According to a police affidavit, she allegedly stole $6,902 in a series of transactions that date back to about March 2015.

Morris is alleged to have altered and or voided cash transactions for sales tax and vehicle plate renewals, pocketing the cash.

According to the affidavit, other staff in the office “noticed she had a lot of voids.” The voided transactions must be signed by another clerk.

In addition, the other clerks said they sometimes noticed their cash drawers were short by $100 or $200, but Morris’ drawer never was, the affidavit states.

Judge Deegan asker her: “Have you reviewed any documents that show how much money you stole?”

“Yes,” Morris replied.

“In fact, isn’t it something more like $16,000?” he asked.

“Yes.”

Deegan also noted that Morris submitted a letter to the court she wrote personally, saying she was dealing with “overwhelming debt.”

No restitution amount was discussed at the hearing. Morris remains free on $25,000 bond.

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