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People v. Campos

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Fourth Division

April 23, 2015

The People of the State of Colorado, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Evelin Campos, Defendant-Appellant

Arapahoe County District Court No. 12CR377. Honorable William B. Sylvester, Judge.

JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.

Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General, Kevin E. McReynolds, Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Borquez Law Office, Robert P. Borquez, Denver, Colorado; Law Office of Mark Burton, P.C., K. Mark Burton, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellant.

Opinion by CHIEF JUDGE LOEB. Sternberg[*] and Roy, JJ., concur.

OPINION

LOEB, CHIEF JUDGE

Page 554

[¶1] Defendant, Evelin Campos, appeals the judgment of conviction entered on jury verdicts finding her guilty of identity theft and criminal impersonation. We affirm.

I. Background

[¶2] This case involves the unauthorized use of another person's name and social security number for employment purposes. S.A. discovered that several people, including Campos, were using her personal identifying information after the Internal Revenue Service sent her letters regarding earnings reported under her social security number at jobs where she had not worked. S.A.'s application for Medicaid benefits was also denied based on supposedly excessive income. S.A. reported the matter to the police.

[¶3] A police investigator discovered that an employee of ABM Janitorial Services had been receiving paychecks under the name " S.A." for approximately four years. Juan Martinez, an ABM manager who was familiar with " S.A.," accompanied the investigator to meet the employee at her worksite. When confronted by the investigator, the employee admitted that her name was not " S.A.," but was instead Evelin Campos. Campos was charged with identity theft, criminal impersonation, and two counts of forgery related to her hiring paperwork.

[¶4] At trial, Campos claimed that she was one of many undocumented workers that Martinez provided with false identity in order to work for ABM. She argued that she did not forge the initial hiring paperwork because she began working for ABM a year after that paperwork was filed.

[¶5] The jury convicted Campos of identity theft and criminal impersonation but acquitted her of the two forgery counts. The court sentenced Campos to two years supervised probation and entered judgment accordingly.

[¶6] This appeal followed.

II. Sufficiency of the Evidence -- Identity Theft

[¶7] Campos first contends that the evidence at trial was insufficient to convict her of identity theft. Specifically, she argues that there was insufficient evidence that she used S.A.'s identity to " obtain cash, credit, property, services, or any other thing of value" as required under the identity theft statute, because she only did so to obtain employment. § 18-5-902(1)(a), C.R.S. 2014. We conclude that because employment is a " thing of value" within the meaning of the identity theft statute, the evidence was sufficient to sustain the conviction.

[¶8] Campos raised this contention at trial when she moved for a judgment of acquittal on the identity theft charge after the prosecution's case-in-chief, after the defense rested, and after the jury rendered its verdicts. The trial court denied the motions, ruling that the wages Campos received constituted

Page 555

" cash" for purposes of the identity theft statute. We affirm but we do so based on a different analysis of the statute. See Premier Members Fed. Credit Union v. Block, 312 P.3d 276, 2013 COA 128, ¶ 9 (" We may affirm a trial court's ruling on any ...


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