BY PETER JONES
Alexander Winslow Arthur
The Greenwood Village-based ringleader of a large mail-theft and check-counterfeiting operation will spend eight years in a community-corrections program, but will not go to prison unless he fails the program.
Alexander Winslow Arthur, 30, received the lighter sentence, despite pleas from prosecutors for incarceration.
The charges stemmed from a grand-jury indictment listing more than 300 counts against 15 people in Arthur’s criminal ring, which stole identities from dozens of victims and mail from hundreds more.
“This isn’t just about identity theft. This crime is personal to members of our community,” Deputy District Attorney Steve Fauver told the court April 21 in asking for a 10-year prison sentence. “Check fraud is different than credit card fraud. … You don’t know what they get when they steal your mail.”
Arthur pleaded guilty last December to felony charges of racketeering and identify theft.
His partner, Sean Michael Jones, 36, of Denver was not as lucky. Although he pleaded guilty to the same charges, he was sentenced in February to 10 years in prison.
Arapahoe District Judge Stephen Collins called Arthur a “master manipulator” who, if he had gone to prison, would have had “a bad experience and come out a worse person than when he went in.”
Sean Michael Jones
Arthur and his co-defendants were also ordered to pay $87,000 in restitution to victims.
In a statement issued after the court’s decision, District Attorney George Brauchler noted the lack of minimum prison-sentencing requirements in such cases.
“Colorado’s criminal laws are inequitable and need to be modernized to reflect the realities of identity theft and financial crime,” he said. “When a person steals $100 from someone at the end of a gun barrel just one time, he faces mandatory prison. But when someone steals numerous individuals’ identities, financial security and nearly $90,000 through repeated and prolonged acts of theft, fraud and deceit … he gets a halfway house.”
The ring stole mail from mailboxes across the metro area for nine months in 2015 and 2016. Stolen checks were used to make counterfeits to be cashed. The group also used other stolen information to get credit cards.
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