Family pleads guilty in welfare fraud case

A Grand Junction couple and their daughter may avoid felony convictions for receiving nearly $25,000 in improper welfare payouts from the Mesa County Department of Human Services.

Retired Colorado State Patrol Trooper William Chrysler, 62, was sentenced Monday to a three-year deferred judgment after pleading guilty to felony forgery and a misdemeanor count of attempted first-degree perjury.

His wife, Marion, 57, was handed a similar sentence by District Judge Richard Gurley after pleading guilty to felony theft and attempted first-degree perjury.

Gurley ordered both to complete 50 hours of useful public service, and suspended jail terms of 90 and 60 days.

The Chryslers were formally charged last fall after a Mesa County investigation showed they illegally obtained a combined $13,731 in food stamp assistance. The couple failed to report several assets, including properties and vehicles,  according to Deputy District Attorney Todd Hildebrandt.

Hildebrandt said the couple also falsely claimed on applications that their daughter, Amy Chrysler, had been living at their home, which increased their benefit payout.

Amy Chrysler, 37, was sentenced by Gurley to a four-year deferred judgement after pleading guilty to felony theft and first-degree perjury, after investigators said she took $10,822 in food stamp assistance and aid from the family and children’s Medicaid program.

The Chryslers will have the opportunity to erase the felony convictions if they stay out of trouble while serving the sentences and pay full restitution.


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