Former Routt County deputy treasurer arrested on embezzlement charges |

Former Routt County deputy treasurer arrested on embezzlement charges

Lila Stucker

— Routt County’s former chief deputy treasurer has been arrested and charged with embezzling thousands of dollars in county funds during her tenure.

Lila M. Stucker faces 144 counts of embezzlement of public money, a Class 5 felony, as well as felony theft charges after the Routt County Treasurer’s Office provided an investigator with evidence that Stucker misappropriated $21,057 in county funds from 2006 to 2013.

Stucker is being represented by Steamboat Attorney Kris Hammond.

“My client didn’t steal anything,” Hammond said.

Stucker, who worked for Routt County for more than 25 years, was fired from the Treasurer’s Office in June 2013.

She was dismissed after her supervisors felt she did not adequately explain some situations where checks from clients had been cashed but Stucker had voided the transactions in the county’s computer system, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Routt County Court.

“In these voided transactions, customer checks were still deposited and the equivalent amount of cash was missing from the deposit, cash that Stucker misappropriated for her personal financial gain,” Thomas Manzione, an investigator with the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, concluded after reviewing the evidence.

Stucker’s arrest comes nearly three years after the Routt County Treasurer’s Office first started investigating some irregular transactions.

Current Treasurer Brita Horn said the irregularities were discovered shortly after she assumed office when she implemented some new checks and balances.

“It’s great to see that the justice process is working, and it’s serving the taxpayers in Routt County,” Horn said Friday when she was asked to react to the arrest.

The District Attorney’s Office started investigating the irregular transactions last year and filed charges against Stucker Thursday.

According to the findings of the investigation, there was evidence Stucker “misappropriated county funds by manipulating accounting entries and deposits.”

A bookkeeper in the Treasurer’s Office told investigators that Stucker used 21 different methods to hide the funds she allegedly misappropriated.

Stucker became the focus of the investigation on May 24, 2013, when Treasurer’s Office employees alerted Horn to an irregular transaction where a client needed two tax certificates but did not receive them after sending the Treasurer’s Office a $20 check.

Treasurer’s Office employees “sent the documents that (the client) requested after seeing that the receipt of the check was made and then was voided on the same day by Lila Stucker,” Horn wrote in a statement to the investigator.

Stucker was released from the Routt County Jail after posting a $5,000 bond. She is due in court at 8:30 a.m. April 28.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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