Daniel Goldberg Sr. convicted of fraud and extortion
Multiple trials are pending in the case of 16 criminal charges
FARMINGTON — Daniel Goldberg Sr. was convicted today of fraud and extortion charges following a two-day trial today in Farmington District Court.
Goldberg is facing a total of 14 charges from a criminal case filed on Aug. 24, 2015, in Aztec Magistrate Court on allegations he extorted money from people who had secured a surety bond, according to The Daily Times archives.
Those charges included one count of racketeering, four counts of extortion and five third-degree felony counts of fraud, according to court records.
This two-day trial focused on one count of extortion, a third-degree felony, and two counts of misdemeanor fraud, in relation to alleged victim Connie Herrera.
The remaining 12 charges will be tried in future jury trials.
San Juan County Assistant District Attorney Keith Mandelski declined to comment following the trial.
Goldberg's attorney, Cosme Ripol, said he respected the jury's result and findings and found the court proceedings very fair.
Goldberg was not taken into custody and was given a set of conditions before being released. A sentencing hearing has not been set.
The two fraud charges stem from Connie Herrera being defrauded of $395 and $300 from Goldberg while attempting to bond out her son Joe Herrera, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Goldberg charged Connie Herrera $800 on Oct. 20, 2014, as a premium on the bond for Joe Herrera when the premium should have been $405. Goldberg was accused of collecting the remaining $395.
For the extortion charge, Connie Herrera accused Goldberg of threatening to take her property if she did not pay $800 after Joe Herrera failed to appear on a case in Aztec Magistrate Court, according to court documents.
Goldberg told Connie Herrera on Oct. 27, 2014, that she still owed him $800 following a failure to appear hearing for Joe Herrera. Connie Herrera gave Goldberg $300 and allegedly set up two more payments of $250.
Witnesses, including Goldberg, Connie Herrera and Detective Devin Verhulst of the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, testified in court Thursday.
While on the stand, Goldberg asserted he was a fugitive recovery agent operating under a corporation and was not a bail bondsman.
Mandelski and Ripol gave their closing arguments just before the jury went into deliberations around 3:15 p.m. The jury returned around 5:05 p.m. to give the guilty verdicts.
Mandelski told jurors that they could not believe anything Goldberg said and that the contracts used in the bonding process were invalid
Ripol said the contracts may have issues, but Goldberg had a legal right to collect money on contracts signed by Joe and Connie Herrera. He added Goldberg threatening to sue Connie Herrera doesn't amount to the extortion charge.
Goldberg has two cases pending in district court.
He is facing eight felony fraud charges on accusations of collecting about $11,500 in property rent on a residence, according to court documents.
In the other case, Goldberg is facing a third-degree felony count of fraud and embezzlement. Goldberg is accused of fraudulently obtaining a Chevrolet Impala and not returning the vehicle title, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
He was convicted during a trial in February of a fourth-degree felony and petty misdemeanor fraud charges.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.