Victims of crime in Colorado are waiting for more than $817 million in restitution payments, according to data obtained in September from the State Court Administrator’s Office.
Judges can order people convicted of crimes to pay restitution to replace what they damaged, repay a victim’s medical bills or return what they stole.
More than 86,000 people have been waiting for five years or longer for their restitution to be paid off.
Some convicted criminals owe their victims millions of dollars. Here are the ten people who owe the most, according to data provided by the State Court Administrator's Office:
10. Hamilton Alan Bird – Owes $6,612,414.22
Bird is behind bars at the Four Mile Correctional Center. He was convicted of running a securities fraud scheme while he was awaiting trial on separate securities fraud charges, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Court data shows he has repaid about $2600 of what he owes stemming from his 2008 plea deal.
9. Tyler John Newhart – Owes $7,022,024.58
Newhart admitted in court he set a fire that caused millions of dollars in damage to Weber Elementary School in Arvada in June of 2007. He has only repaid about $860 of what he owes, according to state records from September.
8. Joseph Andrew Zant – Owes $7,098,408.59
Zant agreed to a plea deal in 2010 on theft charges after police said he borrowed millions from friends and never repaid them, then fled the country to the Dominican Republic. State records show Zant is out of prison on parole and has repaid only about $2200 of the $7.1 million he owes.
7. Stephan John Meylan – Owes $7,805,801.62
The former Colorado Springs home builder agreed to a plea deal in 2010 in connection with a scheme to defraud lenders out of millions by using phony deeds of trust, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. He has repaid just about $16,000 of the $7.8 million a judge ordered him to pay his victims.
6. Robert Olan Bryant – Owes $8,852,397.74
Bryant agreed to a plea deal in 2007 in connection with a securities fraud case in connection with a Ponzi scheme run by a California-based company called National Consumer Mortgage. Our news partners at the Denver Post reported at the time Bryant helped recruit investors in Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties. State records show he has repaid close to $16,000 of the $8.8 million a judge ordered him to pay in restitution to those victims.
5. Michael Marshall – Owes $8,951,265.24
Prosecutors said Michael Marshall ripped off more than 60 people who invested with his company Uriels Inc. He has been released from prison and public records show he moved out of state. Court records indicate Marshall has repaid less than $2,000 of the nearly $9 million he owes.
4. William Leslie Walters – Owes $9,529,368.69
When William Walters entered a plea of guilty to securities fraud charges in 2011, a judge ordered him to pay more than $9.5 million dollars in restitution to the victims of his Ponzi scheme. Those victims might be waiting a while – he is not eligible for parole until 2028. Records show Walters has repaid close to $4,000 during his time behind bars in the Colorado State Penitentiary.
3. Mark Jay Jackson – Owes $21,610,824.84
Convicted in 2010 of racketeering, former Denver financial advisor Mark Jay Jackson is now out of prison on parole and is slowly repaying his massive restitution debt. State records show he has repaid about $9,000 of more than $21 million a judge ordered him to pay seven years ago.
2. Terry Lynn Barton – Owes $42,488,359.55
Terry Barton was convicted of starting the Hayman Fire, one of the most destructive fires in Colorado history. The former Forest Service worker signed a confession saying she set the fire by accident when she burned a letter from her ex. Barton owes money to more than a thousand people, according to the Denver Post, which reported in 2012 she was making payments of $75 a month. Records now show she has managed to repay more than $13,000 of the millions she owes in the 14 years since she was sentenced.
1. Sean Mueller – Owes $74,218,996.28
Sean Mueller was convicted in 2010 of running a Ponzi scheme that snared dozens of victims, including former Bronco John Elway. State records show he has repaid only $4,000 of the tens of millions he owes, and there is an ongoing legal battle over distribution of separate accounts linked to Mueller. Mueller is incarcerated in the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility, serving a 40-year sentence, and is not eligible for parole until 2028.