Court: Ronan Man Has to Pay Restitution, Even for Insured Loss

John Creswell Dovey pleaded guilty to felony theft in May 2015

By Dillon Tabish

HELENA — The Montana Supreme Court says a man who was convicted of stealing $26,500 in cash and merchandise from his employer must pay full restitution, even if the store’s losses were mostly covered by insurance.

John Creswell Dovey appealed District Judge Kim Christopher’s decision to require Dovey to fully repay Westland Seed in Ronan. Dovey pleaded guilty to felony theft in May 2015.

Dovey’s attorney, Martin Judnich, argued his client should only have to pay about $300 — the feed store’s insurance deductible. Judnich argued any other payments would result in a windfall of redundant payments.

The Supreme Court upheld the higher restitution amount in a 5-0 decision last month, saying Dovey didn’t deserve to benefit more from the insurance policy than his victim.

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