Home wireless networking Ex-manager accused of payday loan embezzlement

Ex-manager accused of payday loan embezzlement


FARMINGTON – A 55-year-old woman in Fruitland was charged last week with embezzling nearly $ 30,000 from a Farmington payday loan business.

Caroleen Padilla-Yazzie was indicted on October 14 by the Farmington Magistrates’ Court with embezzlement in excess of $ 20,000, fraud, forgery and identity theft.

Padilla-Yazzie is represented by Farmington attorney Arlon Stoker. Stoker said he needed to review the evidence before he could comment on the case. Padilla-Yazzie was released from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center after posting $ 10,000 bail, court records show.

Farmington Police began investigating reports that nearly $ 30,000 was stolen from Check Advanced Loans, 423 W. Broadway St. in Farmington on August 6, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Cheryl Valdez, the company’s regional manager, told a detective on Aug.31 that she believed Padilla-Yazzie, a former store manager, had embezzled the funds.

Valdez said Padilla-Yazzie was fired in March 2014 after being caught pocketing cash payments, the affidavit states. Valdez told detective that she confronted Padilla-Yazzie about the thefts, and the store manager denied it.

Valdez further said she believed Padilla-Yazzie had taken out a loan on behalf of a family member without that person’s knowledge, according to the affidavit.

The detective met Padilla-Yazzie on October 12. Padilla-Yazzie agreed to provide a statement and initially denied stealing funds from Check Advanced Loans, but ultimately admitted that she pocketed a cash loan payment, according to the affidavit.

After further questioning, Padilla-Yazzie admitted to stealing cash loan payments from several clients, the affidavit states.

A review of Check Advanced Loans’ financial records showed that $ 19,386 was stolen from 64 separate customer accounts over a seven-month period in 2013, according to the affidavit.

An additional $ 7,531 was stolen from 27 customer accounts in the spring of 2014, the affidavit states.

A bogus loan application of $ 1,400 was also allegedly submitted by Padilla-Yazzie during the same period, the affidavit states.

Padilla-Yazzie is scheduled to appear in a preliminary examination hearing on November 4.

Steve Garrison covers crime and the courts for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.

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