ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Detectives issued a search warrant for the computer of a former Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority employee, who is suspected in widespread rental scam .
Anna Griego, who has not been charged, is being investigated for helping Shaun Anaya and his accomplices swindle dozens of renters out of thousands of dollars, according to Albuquerque Police. Griego is a former customer service supervisor at the water authority.
Anaya, who is still behind bars charged with forgery, fraud and breaking and entering, is accused of leasing foreclosed or vacant homes to renters under a company he created called Olive Tree Property Management. Renters would pay Anaya up front to move in only to be kicked out once the real owners showed up.
Police said Anaya pulled off the scam for more than a year. Now, detectives believe he had help.
"We do know that they were working with someone inside the water authority," said Detective Randall Crawford with APD's white collar crimes division.
Water authority spokesman David Morris said the department conducted an internal investigation into Griego. Morris said Griego, who was a 17-year employee, was fired two months ago for "failure of following water utility authority policies and procedures."
Morris said the results of the investigation were turned over to police.
Detective Crawford issued a search warrant for Griego's computer on Monday. In it, it states that Griego, who is related to one of Anaya's suspected accomplices, helped turn on water in the vacant homes that Anaya was renting out. Police said e-mails sent from Griego's work computer show she went "beyond the scope of her job to get the meters reset."
But Crawford said it's too early to know if Griego did anything criminal.
"That's one of the reasons we put the warrant on the computer, so we could analyze the computer and see what was going on, how they got the water turned on and what it took to get the water turned on at that point," said Crawford.
Morris said because of the Shaun Anaya investigation, the water utility authority has made some changes. Now anyone who wants to turn on water at a home needs to provide document providing they actually own it.
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