Sunday, December 14, 2014

Colorado Woman Arrested For Allegedly Embezzling $124K From Local County

From ABC News7 Denver on 12/12/2014:

A former Eagle County employee was arrested Friday on a warrant accusing her of embezzling $124,239 from the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

Brenda Wright, 55, of Gypsum, appeared in court, where Judge Russell Granger advised her of the charges against her. Granger set her bond at $25,000, and ordered that Wright surrender her passport to the court.

The arrest came after an investigation traced the missing public funds back to Wright, Jill Sarmo, spokeswoman for Eagle County District Attorney's Office, said in a news release.

The fraud was detected when Eagle County Clerk Teak Simonton discovered discrepancies in motor vehicle financial accounts. Those accounts contain a 2 percent vehicle rental and leasing tax levied upon vehicles rented each year in Colorado for less than 45 days, Sarmo said. A portion of that tax goes to the county where the car rental occurs.

The investigation included an accounting audit, as well as a search of Wright’s home, her bank records, cell phone, and computer, which uncovered a trail of dollar bills $124,239 deep and five years long, Sarmo said.

"I'd like to thank our Finance Department and Treasurer's Office for their assistance in determining the magnitude of the alleged theft," Simonton said in a statement. "As disappointed as I and my team are about this betrayal by a trusted employee, we are happy that she will be held accountable to the people of the county."

Wright's arrest is just the latest in a series of extraordinary embezzlement cases throughout the Fifth Judicial District, which includes Eagle, Summit, Clear Creek and Lake counties.

In recent months, notable convictions occurred in the cases of Henry Kunter, now serving an eight-year community corrections sentence after stealing from an Eagle civic organization, and Dawna Foxx, serving a five-year sentence in state prison after stealing from a local Summit County non-profit where she worked.

In addition, charges have also been filed against Sue Frank for allegedly stealing $415,000 from a Summit County non-profit business association, and Robert Polich who is suspected of stealing approximately $160,000 from a Summit County homeowner’s association.


Read the whole story here.

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