LAS CRUCES – A man from Columbia pleaded guilty on Monday to scamming a Las Cruces man out of $15,000. 

Julian David Ceballos-Jimenez, 29, of Columbia pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, a third-degree felony. The charge carried a maximum penalty of three years in prison, two years of parole and a $5,000 fine.

However, Third Judicial District Court Judge Richard Jacquez accepted a plea agreement that eliminated Ceballos-Jimenez’s prison sentence. Instead, Ceballos-Jimenez was required to repay the victim $15,000 and will be removed from the country. 

He was also sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation. 

According to a police affidavit filed by a New Mexico State Police officer, Ceballos-Jimenez tricked a Las Cruces man into sending him a $15,000 wire transfer in 2018. The affidavit said that the victim came forward with the accusations in November 2018. 

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