Fort Collins woman accused of stealing more than $300,000 from Martin Lind’s companies
February 22, 2013
A Weld County grand jury has indicted a Fort Collins woman, accused of laundering money from Windsor companies owned by developer Martin Lind, on 24 counts of financial crimes.
Jennifer Choury, 41, is accused of stealing more than $300,000 while working as a financial controller for Water Valley Land Company and the controller, director of finance and office manager for Trollco Inc., with duties extending to other companies, according to a news release from the Weld District Attorney's Office.
In total, the indictment alleges the theft of at least $257,567, and as much as $308,950 among the various company accounts. The named victims include her employer, Martin Lind, and his companies Trollco, Inc.; Pelican Lakes, LLC; Vima Partners, LLC; and Water Valley Land Co., LLC.
Choury is accused of funneling money from the companies using several schemes, including forging authorization for withdrawals from a company account and directing funds from the $8,500 sale of a company limousine (2000 Ford Excursion) to herself, the release states.
Lind said Choury worked for him for seven years.
"Due to the pending trial implications, it's inappropriate for us to comment on any details at this time," said Lind in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. "As I'm sure that can be expected, this discovery has taken its toll on my family and my company in a very difficult economic time. However, we're looking forward to the future and promising ourselves that we'll continue to look for the good in people and not allow this event to define us."
Lind would not comment on what motivated Choury.
"It's just sad. There's no other word for it than sad," Lind said. "Sad for everybody."
Lind, a fourth-generation Windsor resident, is president/developer of Water Valley Land Co. and Eagle Crossing Development, managing partner of Airport Development, Inc. in Fort Collins and Loveland, and chief executive officer of the Colorado Eagles hockey organization.
Lind has been instrumental in developing several commercial, business and industrial areas in Windsor and northern Colorado including the 1,500-acre Water Valley master-planned community with 18-hole and 9-hole golf courses in Windsor, the 180-acre business park called Eagle Crossing, Iron Mountain Autoplex of Windsor and Discovery Plaza at the Fort Collins-Loveland Regional Airport.
The news release also states that Choury is alleged to have made at least 63 unauthorized withdrawals from company bank accounts from Feb. 8, 2008, to April 4, 2012. The indictment alleges that Choury would send email requests to the bank that copied her employer. She would then allegedly use her access to her employer's email account to create false authorizations under his name, and then delete any evidence of the emails from the employer's account. The indictment alleges that Choury performed the same act of theft using a different account on 51 occasions from July 15, 2009, and May 15, 2012, and an additional three times using other accounts from 2010-12.
The indictment also alleges an additional scheme in which Choury forged six checks totaling $18,500 on her employer's personal checking account, laundered the checks by depositing them into the account of Havoc Girls Lacrosse, a nonprofit organization for which Choury was treasurer, and writing herself checks on the Havoc Girls Lacrosse account.
According to the Havoc Girls Lacrosse website, Havoc is a lacrosse program in Fort Collins for girls in grades first through eighth that involves first-time players to those who play year-round. The Havoc team philosophy is "Love Each Other, Work Hard, Play Hard."