A married couple once employed by Cattle Baron restaurant in Roswell faces criminal charges for allegedly stealing more than $1 million from the business.
The office of the New Mexico Attorney General filed a criminal complaint in Chaves County Magistrate Court Friday, charging Brian Casaus and his wife Tammy with 28 and 24 criminal counts respectively, according to a press release issued Monday.
Brian Casaus allegedly used his position as comptroller and office manager of Cattle Baron to transfer $1.1 million in direct deposits from Cattle Baron’s payroll accounts to multiple personal accounts belonging to him and his wife.
After the payroll was transferred into the accounts, Tammy Casaus — who had worked as payroll coordinator for Cattle Baron from 2012 to 2016 — transferred funds into the bank accounts, withdrew cash and used funds for personal expenses beyond the reported earned income of she and her husband.
Tammy Casaus also did not report on the couple’s taxes the accurate income she and her husband received by excluding the $1.1 million that had been unlawfully transferred.
The discrepancies in payroll deposits were discovered a month after Tammy Casaus resigned from Cattle Baron, according to the complaint.
Brian Casaus faces multiple charges, including four counts each of embezzlement and larceny, three counts of tax fraud and 21 counts of money laundering. Tammy Casaus is charged with three counts of tax fraud and 21 counts of money laundering, according to the complaint.
In an interview with investigators in March about the overpayments transferred into his accounts, Brian Casaus denied knowing how the $1.1 million in overpayments got into his personal accounts.
Tammy Casaus admitted spending some of the money and making fund transfers into relative’s accounts jointly owned by herself and her husband, but denied having any knowledge of her husband allegedly embezzling $1.1 million, according to the complaint.
She added that she was unaware of what her husband earned while working at Cattle Baron and said they never spoke about what they earn. Tammy Casaus added she is not good at discussing money with her husband, but that she was the bigger spender between her and Brian Casaus, often not checking account balances and using credit cards.
“She would file their joint tax return every year and did not question the amount of income she’d input as their income,” the complaint states.
Tammy Casaus did admit to investigators she was often confused with how many direct deposits were listed, but assumed all the direct deposits were bonuses Brian Casaus had earned.
Initial hearings for the couple are scheduled for next week in Chaves County Magistrate Court. Preliminary hearings will then take place within 60 days of the initial hearing, the release states.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at email@example.com.