Steamboat woman arrested on suspicion of embezzling more than $500K from construction company
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A Steamboat woman was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of embezzling more than $500,000 over a period of at least four years from a local construction company.
Susan Driggers, 59, faces four felony charges, including theft, computer crime, identity theft and forgery, according to an arrest affidavit obtained from the Routt County Justice Center.
In January, a top employee at Duckels Construction Inc. reported a theft to the Steamboat Springs Police Department. During an annual audit, accountants noticed several files had been deleted from the company’s financial accounts. An outside company was able to recover the deleted information and found the files matched up with a banking reference number associated with Driggers.
It appeared she had been writing herself checks for personal items totaling close to $150,000, according to the affidavit.
The company hired Denver-based legal attorney Tamir Goldstein, who helped to conduct a full review of the company’s accounts.
He and a financial accountant finished the report in June and shared their findings with the Police Department. They allege that from December 2014 through November 2018, Driggers had not only written checks for herself in the company’s name but also raised her wage without authorization, according to the affidavit.
From June 2015 to November 2018, Driggers increased her hourly wage from $35 per hour to $45 per hour, according to the affidavit, something that should have required the company’s approval. Based on Goldstein’s report, she made more than $280,000 in overpaid wages.
The report also claims Driggers hired private contractors to do work on her house on the company’s dime, according to the affidavit. This included window installations and masonry, among others, totaling almost $180,000.
In total, Driggers is suspected of embezzling at least $536,450 from Duckels, though Goldstein’s report does not extend prior to 2015.
“Goldstein anticipated that there would be more (money) discovered when tracing back further years,” the affidavit said.
Based on those findings, officers obtained a warrant for Driggers’ arrest and arrested her Wednesday night.
Employees at Duckels and a detective with the Police Department who oversaw the investigation declined to comment on the case.
As of Thursday, Driggers was being held on a $20,000 bond in the Routt County Jail.