COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Colorado Springs business owner who pleaded guilty to theft charges is heading to jail.
Greg Ehnes, owner of the now defunct Springs Transmission and Automotive, was sentenced on Monday, January 6, 2014.
Ehnes will serve 90 days in jail and spend ten years on probation. The judge said that he would have imposed a longer jail sentence, but he thought it was important for Ehnes to try to work and pay restitution to his victims. The judge also ruled that Ehnes not be allowed to work in the auto industry again.
One victim, William Waldorf, told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that he would be shocked if Ehnes paid him back. He took his 1998 Jaguar XJ8 to Ehnes because of transmission problems. The problems were never fixed, according to Waldorf, and his tires and rims were later stolen from the Springs Transmission car lot.
"Actually, in one sense, I kind of hope he doesn't do the restitution and goes back in jail," Waldorf said. "If he will do the restitution, I'd be amazed. I really would."
Prosecutors told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that there are more than 100 alleged victims of Ehnes' business malpractices. Only three cases made it to court. Ehnes pleaded guilty to theft, theft of an at-risk adult and criminal mischief on October 11, 2013.
Ehnes spoke before the judge Monday, blaming his actions on blood sugar problems. Though he previously pleaded guilty to the charges, he maintained his innocence, saying that he was simply overwhelmed with managing his business and did not believe in stealing.
Prosecutors argued that Ehnes took money from clients for work he didn't do, refused to return cars to customers, stole car parts and vandalized vehicles.
A restitution hearing is set for Friday, May 2.