A 43-year-old Steamboat Springs woman arrested Oct. 9 on suspicion of forging more than $6,000 in checks pleaded guilty to felony charges of forgery and theft in District Court on Friday.
Cindy Lou Winograsky could face up to $100,000 in fines and one to three years in prison for the forgery charge, and two to six years and a $500,000 fine for the theft charge, District Judge Michael O'Hara said. If the judge finds extraordinary circumstances in the charges before sentencing, Winograsky could face up to 12 years in prison and up to three years of mandatory parole, O'Hara said.
Because Winograsky was on probation at the time she was arrested, her sentence could be more severe, Public Defender Sheryl Uhlmann said.
O'Hara set a sentencing date for 10 a.m. Jan. 30.
An arrest warrant issued by the Steamboat Springs Police Department claims Winograsky stole and forged eight checks worth $6,463.34 from her former employer, the Professional Ski Instructors of America, and Rocky Mountain Ski Instructors Education Foundation, a nonprofit subsidiary.
A PSIA employee told police that between April 19 and June 10, 2002, Winograsky wrote eight stolen checks payable to herself, endorsed them and took them to the bank. The checks were type-written and bore bond marks, confirming they had been presented for payment and honored at the bank.
On June 13, 2002, Winograsky allegedly confided in the employee that she had stolen the checks and used Executive Director David Hidalgo's signature stamp to complete the checks before taking them to the bank. This was done without authorization, the employee said.
Winograsky also reportedly took $320 in cash and replaced it with checks from her personal account that had insufficient funds, the employee said.
Winograsky had made restitution payments between $6,299.68 and $6,349.68, the employee said. The warrant states Winograsky disputes the amount.
At the time she was arrested, Winograsky was on probation for a 1997 incident in which she took more than $1,500 from Arc Welding Specialists. Documents show that she pleaded guilty to a theft charge in that case, and a forgery charge was dismissed.
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