State Trooper Guilty of Welfare Fraud Sentenced Today

A former Colorado State Trooper who plead guilty to welfare fraud recieved his sentence Tuesday morning.

68–year–old Terry Chelius was sentenced to the terms of his plea agreement: 3 years probation and 150 hours of community service to be served in the next two years.

According to an arrest affidavit, Chelius got food stamps totaling $8,000, $3,500 in medicare benefits and $2,400 from the Low-income Energy Assistance Program.

Meanwhile, court documents say his ranch was pulling in $49,000 and he was collecting anywhere from $800 to more $2,000 in Veteran's benefits. They say he owned atleast four cars, a utility trailer and three ATVs.

"Even if you try to minimize the blame, in your heart you know you did something wrong. I'm ready to fess up," Chelius told 11 News in May.

Investigators say Chelius was living a lavish lifestyle. and say he splurged on jewelry, liquor, fine dining, sporting goods, golfing, electronics, charitable contributions and dues for organizations, proof they say he did not need public assistance.

"I don't wear jewelry, my wife never wore more than a wedding," Chelius disputed some of the allegation but says he's made mistakes.

Karen Guillen with the Mesa County Department of Human Services says this is one of the worst cases of welfare fraud she's seen.

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