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Couple accused in Cattle Baron case to stand trial

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Charges against a local couple stemming from the alleged theft of more than $1 million from the Cattle Baron Restaurant will proceed to trial after a probable cause finding by the Chaves County Magistrate Court, according to a press release issued by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.

Brian and Tammy Casaus are charged with 13 felony counts, respectively, including racketeering, tax fraud, money laundering and embezzlement, according to the press release.

Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a statement, “We must keep our communities safe so that every New Mexican family has an opportunity to prosper, so I look forward to seeking justice in this case.”

After Brian and Tammy Casaus waived a preliminary hearing, the Magistrate Court judge determined probable cause exists to support each charge, and the court bound those charges over for trial in the 5th Judicial District Court.

The case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Office and the Tax Fraud Investigation Division of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department.

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The Special Prosecutions Division of the Office of the Attorney General is prosecuting the case.

Brian Casaus, comptroller and office manager at the restaurant from 2012 to 2016, was accused of electronically transferring money from Cattle Baron’s direct deposit payroll into personal and other bank accounts belonging to himself and Tammy Casaus, according to earlier Daily Record reporting.

During the same period, Tammy Casaus — in her role as payroll comptroller — was alleged to have taken the transferred funds from several accounts, withdrawn cash and used the money to cover personal expenses.

Discrepancies were discovered in 2016, after Tammy Casaus had resigned from Cattle Baron and before Brian Casaus was terminated.

In March, Brian Casaus denied knowing how the money got into his account. Tammy Casaus denied knowing of any plans by her husband to embezzle money.

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