Woman charged with burglarizing law office

Steve Garrison

FARMINGTON – A Farmington woman was charged last week with multiple counts of fraud and forgery on allegations she stole checks from a local law office during a burglary.

Michelle Every, 44, was charged Oct. 27 in Farmington Magistrate Court with nonresidential burglary, conspiracy to commit nonresidential burglary, four counts of felony fraud and 10 counts of felony forgery, among other lesser offenses.

Michelle Every

Every is being held at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on an $87,500 bond, according to court records. Detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln of the San Juan County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday. Every remains a suspect in the fraudulent use of credit cards belonging to Karen Cugnini, who was found murdered at her residence in Flora Vista on Oct. 1.

Rick Stallings, 50, has been charged with murder in Cugnini's death.

Every was arraigned Monday in the Eleventh Judicial District on several other counts of forgery and fraud in an unrelated criminal case.

Her attorney in that case, Tyson Quail, declined to comment on these new charges.

Bankruptcy attorney Kemp Lewis reported to the Farmington Police Department on Aug. 7 that his office at 3005 Northridge Drive, suite H, was burglarized, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

He contacted police again on Sept. 20 and reported several business checks stolen from his office had been cashed at the Mr. Payroll located in downtown Farmington, the affidavit states.

Lewis obtained surveillance photos of the woman suspected of cashing the checks, and she was identified by a Farmington police officer as Every, according to the affidavit.

Lewis did not respond to a request for comment regarding the burglary.

Every was interviewed by a Farmington police detective on Oct. 7 while incarcerated at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, and she admitted she forged the checks, but claimed another individual was responsible for the break-in at the law office.

That individual said he assisted Every in the burglary, but she entered the law office and stole the checks. He has not been charged in connection to the burglary, according to court records.

Every is accused of forging 10 checks worth more than $4,300.

Every is expected to appear at a preliminary examination hearing Wednesday.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.