Woman pleads guilty in theft from youth sports groupee

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By AJ Vicens

Carrie Smith pleaded guilty to theft Nov. 6, more than a year after she was fired as manager of the South Jeffco Sports Association for stealing more than $100,000.

Smith, 44, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft of $500 to $15,000, and three other counts were dismissed by Jefferson County District Judge Dennis Hall.

Deputy District Attorney Tom Jackson recommended that Smith be given probation in the case. Charles Morphew, Smith's attorney, asked Hall for immediate sentencing, but Hall wanted a pre-sentence investigation. He set sentencing for Jan. 8, 2009.

Smith could face up to six years in prison, or she could get probation.

Smith did not return messages left at her home. Jackson said he couldn't comment on his probation recommendation since Smith has yet to be sentenced.

Smith was charged with three felonies March 17 after an investigation revealed that $102,580.65 had been embezzled from the South Jeffco Sports Association between Sept. 1, 2005, and Sept. 30, 2007. During that time, Smith was the association's office manager, and she was accused of forging signatures on payroll checks and using association funds to pay for items charged on her American Express credit card.

Smith was confronted in September 2007 by then-association president Gary Losh, who fired her and reported the thefts to the sheriff's office.

Smith struck a deal with the association in which she would repay the money in full plus attorney fees, and the association would ask Jeffco District Attorney Scott Storey and the sheriff's office not to prosecute. Smith paid the association $125,000 in two payments, with the final payment made in late January.

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com, and check www.columbinecourier.com for updates and breaking news.