FARMINGTON — A Farmington woman was arrested last week on suspicion of embezzling nearly $350,000 from an oil field service company over the last two-and-a-half years.
The San Juan County Sheriff's Office arrested Mary Hawkins, 65, on suspicion of 40 fourth-degree felonies for the alleged theft. She was booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on Jan. 23 and remained in custody Thursday on a $200,000 bond, Beth Utley, a sheriff's office spokeswoman, said in an email.
Hawkins was the bookkeeper for D and D Services and Four Corners Testing, small businesses owned by the same person. The company contacted the sheriff's office on Jan. 20 and said Hawkins was forging the business owner's signature on checks and cashing them without permission, sheriff's office Detective Katie Macsalka said in a prepared statement.
E. Glen Davis, of Flora Vista, is the agent listed for Four Corners Testing on the Secretary of State's website. Attempts to reach the businesses Thursday evening were unsuccessful.
Sheriff's office Detective Lt. Cory Tanner said the businesses operated out of a man's home in Flora Vista.
Macsalka said the investigation revealed Hawkins first forged Davis' signature on July 1, 2011. Since then, 221 fraudulent checks were written in Hawkins' name.
The checks totaled $344,349, Macsalka said.
Hawkins was charged with 20 fourth-degree felonies for fraud and 20 fourth-degree felonies for forgery. She waived her right to a preliminary hearing in magistrate court on Thursday and her case was bound over to district court, San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Brent Capshaw said.
Capshaw said each felony carries an 18-month maximum prison sentence upon conviction, exposing Hawkins to a maximum of 60 years in prison if the sentences are served consecutively.
But other theft convictions in San Juan County in recent years where the defendant was facing significant prison time resulted in probation.
Rhonda Osborne, of Farmington, was sentenced to probation in November 2012 after being convicted of two second-degree felonies for embezzling more than $220,000 from her ex-husband. She was facing up to 18 years in prison.
And last week, Timothy Smith, 50, pleaded guilty to seven felonies. He was sentenced to probation and can earn a conditional discharge after he was convicted of stealing wire and causing more than $80,000 of damage.
A search of a state court website revealed no criminal history for Hawkins.Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.