Scammer steals Santa Fe official’s paychecks

New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of the City of Santa Fe’s highest-paid workers says she was the victim of an online scam.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Public Works Director Regina Wheeler’s paycheck was fraudulently re-routed through direct deposit. Officials say 53-year-old Lara Johnson from Twin Falls, Idaho is behind the crime.

Authorities say Johnson filled out a direct deposit form using Wheeler’s name, then sent a fake and voided check from Green Dot Bank to the payroll office where she lives.

A criminal complaint stated the payroll office then processed the direct deposit form, which caused Wheeler’s pay to transfer to an account at Green Dot Bank. Police say Wheeler came to realize her paychecks weren’t being transferred to her bank account after three pay periods.

The amount totaled over $9,400. Johnson has been ordered to appear in Santa Fe Magistrate Court next month.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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