Photo by LCSO
A 43-year-old North Platte woman, convicted of embezzling money from the North Platte Wrestling Club, was sentenced to from 1-1/2 to 3 years in prison Monday.Denise Hoeft, 2915 Birchwood, told Lincoln County District Judge Donald Rowlands that she “was very, very sorry for what I have done.”
“I will regret it every day for the rest of my life,” Hoeft said before sentencing.
A charge of theft from Boy Scout Troop 292 of more than $1,300 was dismissed in exchange for Hoeft’s guilty plea in the Wrestling Club case.
A police spokesman said members of the wrestling club contacted the police after they discovered money missing from their bank account in 2007. A police investigation revealed that Hoeft, the group’s treasurer, had allegedly embezzled the money, the spokesman said, and used it to pay bills and purchase merchandise.
Hoeft paid $2,164.53 restitution to the court Monday prior to sentencing, according to her attorney Martin Troshynski. It was unclear what the total restitution amount was.
Hoeft was arrested more than a year ago, Aug. 14, 2007. Since that time she has sought and was granted eight continuances in her case. Troshynski said, in the past, that the delays in the case were due to Hoeft’s efforts to repay the restitution.
Troshynski told the court that Hoeft was married and was a nurse. He said she would lose her nursing license for the felony theft conviction.
Troshynski told Rowlands that he had Hoeft take a psychological evaluation because her actions didn’t make any sense. He said the evaluation identified some pathologies that required intense therapy to address and keep from happening again. He asked for jail time in Lincoln County so she could have access to treatment.
But Rowlands said probation and local jail time was not appropriate because Hoeft had been convicted of theft before.
Hoeft was convicted in Lincoln County Court in 1998 for three counts of forgery and served 12 months probation. She was originally charged with four counts of felony forgery after she signed her name on checks from the account of the North Platte volunteer fire department but pleaded guilty to three counts of misdemeanor forgery in a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Rowlands said it would send the wrong message to the community of repeat offenders got light treatment or probation. He ordered her to the Women’s Reformatory in York and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies escorted her from the courtroom.