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Jul 29, 2012 12:49 PM by Matt Stafford

Ex-Colorado Springs bookkeeper sentenced for theft

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - A former Colorado Springs bookkeeper who pleaded guilty to embezzling half a million dollars from a welding supply store, helping drive the family-run business into bankruptcy, has been sentenced.

The Gazette reports District Judge David L. Shakes sentenced 44-year-old Christina Michele Bratcher on Friday to 18 months in a jail work-release program and 12 years of probation. She also must repay at least $594,298 - the amount she stole plus interest.

Bratcher was accused of embezzling the money while she was an accountant at Colorado Welding Supply, a mother-and-son operated company that was later forced out of business.

She pleaded guilty in May to felony theft and forgery.

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