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Former Santa Fe hospital executive avoids jail time in embezzlement case


SANTA FE, New Mexico — A former Santa Fe hospital executive accused of embezzling $3 million has avoided jail time.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports ( that 60-year-old Richard Crabtree was ordered Friday to pay $250,000 restitution and serve five years' probation under a plea agreement.

The former chief operating officer at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and his then-girlfriend, Loretta Mares, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud over $20,000 and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Prosecutors say the pair defrauded the hospital in 2007 and 2008 through payments to companies owned by Mares' brothers.

They say the funds went to the couple's bank accounts and paid for credit card bills, country club memberships and other expenses.

Crabtree's attorney, B.J. Crow, says his client feels the deal is fair.

Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican,

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