A Colorado man has been sentenced to 90 days in jail and 10 years of probation after pleading guilty to several car thefts. The man was charged with Class Three Felony Theft after striking a plea deal with the prosecution.

The man was originally indicted for four counts of defrauding a creditor, two counts of serial theft, and one count of computer crime. He could have faced up to 10 years in prison but his plea deal included that he pay $220,000 in restitution for the criminal charges, reducing his prison sentence to only 90 days.

The charges against the Colorado man resulted after the attorney general's office and other law enforcement agencies learned of a car theft scheme in the state. The indictment stated that the man advertised his businesses online to attract customers interested in selling their vehicles. As part of the scheme, the man's business would take possession of the vehicle and any current payments until he found a third party to buy the vehicle.

The indictment alleged that the man made significant profits by selling these vehicles to new buyers by having them make a large down payment and then he would increase the customer's monthly payments. After the vehicles were in the man's possession, the original owners or financial lenders never received any money from the sale of the vehicle.

The attorney general's office said that the man went to Argentina in 2011 to avoid charges but returned to Colorado to face his charges earlier this fall.

This case could have resulted in much more serious consequences for the defendant if he hadn't made a plea deal with the prosecutor. He could have been sentenced to over a decade in prison, but his plea deal allowed him to avoid a lot of jail time.

Not all defendants are offered plea deals, and every criminal case is different. However, it is important for defendants facing possible jail time to understand all of their options and discuss with their criminal defense attorney what options are available and what will work to fit their best interests.

Source: Yahoo News, "Colorado Serial Car Thief Gets Probation, Jail for Crimes," Susan Graybeal, April 17, 2013