Here's your dilemma: You can either pay $4,000 a month for 200 months or spend 80 months locked in a California prison?
It apparently wasn't for David Scott Schapel, a 36-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita man.
He chose prison.
You might excuse Schapel's decision if he couldn't afford the $4,000 a
month payments for restitution after 2009 grand theft, fraud and
But, according to a state Court of Appeal
based in Santa Ana, Schapel easily could have afforded the payments
given that he earned as much as $16,000 each month–well, at least he
did before he decided he'd rather live in prison than pay the $800,000
in court-ordered restitution.
After his convictions, Schapel
agreed to make the monthly payments in order to avoid prison, but
immediately mocked Judge James S. Odriozola's ruling by paying just $50, $25 and $5 a month. It
didn't help his cause that he violated his probation officer's demand
that he not leave the state to play in Las Vegas.
“It appears this defendant was trifling with the court,” observed Justice Eileen Moore, on behalf of justice William Rylaarsdam and Raymond Ikola.
The justices determined that Schapel's relocation to prison was righteous and closed the matter.
–R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly