Carlsbad woman pleads not guilty to embezzling $800,000

February 4, 2018

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A Carlsbad woman has pleaded not guilty to federal wire fraud charges in connection with an $800,000 embezzlement scheme.

Prosecutors say 54-year-old Lori Whitaker was arraigned Friday at the federal courthouse in Las Cruces.

She was released pending trial, which hasn’t been scheduled.

Whitaker is facing a 75-count indictment charging her with perpetrating a scheme to defraud her former employer over a two-year period.

Whitaker was an office manager for the Otis Mutual Domestic Water Consumers and Sewage Works Association.

The non-profit association provides potable water and a wastewater system to more than 4,300 people in Otis, New Mexico.

Whitaker allegedly transmitted funds between March 2015 and February 2017 as part of a scheme to defraud the association.

Prosecutors say the 75 wired transactions ranged from $416 to nearly $16,000.

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