Home News Local News Couple accused in Cattle Baron case make first court appearance

Couple accused in Cattle Baron case make first court appearance

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The sign at the Cattle Baron restaurant on 1113 North Main Street in Roswell. Brian and Tammy Casaus, who are accused of stealing $1.1 million over four years from the restaurant while they were employed there, made their first appearance in Chaves County Magistrate Court Tuesday. (Alex Ross Photo)

A married couple alleged to have stolen more than $1 million from the Cattle Baron restaurant while employed there were ordered Tuesday by a magistrate judge not to have any contact with one another while their case is pending.

Judge K.C. Rogers, judge for Chaves County Magistrate Court Division II, made the requirement part of a no-contact order Brian and Tammy Casaus of Roswell must abide by as part of their conditions of release during the couple’s first appearance in court Tuesday.

The order applies to each of the defendants individually and states that neither are to have any contact with any victim or witness in the case while it is being prosecuted, unless through defense counsel, when a representative of the District Attorney’s office is not present.

Rogers said the order also refers to contact over the telephone or social media and that if they share a home, one of the two will have to move out while their case is being prosecuted.

“No contact means no contact, so one of you is going to have to leave,” Rogers said, referring to any joint living arrangements the couple might have.

Any violation of the order could constitute contempt of court, on the part of either defendant that tries to initiate contact with the other.

Other conditions of release the couple must abide by, in order to avoid being incarcerated while their case is being prosecuted, include: not possessing firearms or dangerous weapons; not returning to the location of the alleged incident; not possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages or entering liquor establishments and not buying, selling, or consuming any illegal drugs or possessing drug paraphernalia. The couple must maintain weekly contact with their respective attorneys.

Brian and Tammy Casaus face 28 and 24 counts respectively on federal charges that including tax fraud, larceny, embezzlement and money laundering, after they allegedly stole $1.1 million while employed at Cattle Baron.

As comptroller and office manager at Cattle Baron from 2012 to 2016, Brian Casaus is alleged to have electronically transferred money from Cattle Baron’s direct deposit payroll into personal and softball business bank accounts belonging to himself and Tammy Casaus.

In her role as payroll comptroller during the same four-year period, Tammy Casaus is alleged to have taken the transferred funds from several bank accounts, withdrawn cash and used the money that was taken to cover personal expenses and pay down credit cards.

The complaint states Tammy Casaus also did not report on the couple’s taxes the accurate earned income of she and her husband by not reporting the money that had been unlawfully transferred.

The discrepancies were discovered in 2016, shortly after Tammy Casaus had resigned from Cattle Baron and shortly before Brian Casaus was terminated for non-performance.

In an interview with investigators in March, Brian Casaus denied knowing how the $1.1 million got into his account over the four-year period.

Tammy Casaus admitted spending some of the money and making fund transfers, but told investigators she denied knowing of any plans by her husband to embezzle money.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.