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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Former HomesNOW! president and co-founder pleads not-guilty to first degree theft charge

Jim Peterson, former president of HomesNOW!, at SafeHaven on May 11. // Photo by Zack Jimenez

By Ella Banken

Jim Peterson, former president and co-founder of HomesNOW! pled not-guilty to the charge of theft in the first degree at his arraignment on Friday, Nov. 8.

Peterson’s pre-trial hearing is set for Wednesday, Dec. 18.

Peterson was arrested on Friday, Nov. 1, and booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of first-degree theft. Peterson was released on bail of $10,000 Monday, Nov. 4. 

The conservative estimate of funds misappropriated from the non-profit was $75,000, according to Lieutenant Claudia Murphy of the Bellingham Police Department.

The maximum penalty for a charge of first degree theft in the state of Washington is 10 years in prison and a fine of $20,000. 

Theft in the first degree, which is the theft of anything that exceeds $5,000, is considered a class B felony in the state of Washington.

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