Theft charges piling up for Gypsum woman
Cleaver, 56, of Gypsum, who is accused of stealing money from the Vail Symposium, a nonprofit organization in the Vail Valley, will appear in court today on a new theft charge. The new charge was filed Dec. 31, two weeks before a hearing on two previous theft charges.
In court records, Chief Deputy District Attorney Greg Crittenden said there are going to be four new cases filed against Cleaver.
In the latest case, Cleaver, a computer consultant, is accused of stealing about $12,000 from the Galatyn Lodge in Vail. She faces a new charge of theft, a felony that can carry from two to six years in prison.
Cleaver already faced theft charges in two separate cases in Eagle County. She is accused of stealing money and a computer worth about $15,000 from Streamline Builders in Gypsum.
She is also accused of stealing money from the Vail Symposium, where she was a computer consultant for about four years. That money was allegedly used to pay her bond and attorney’s fees in the first case, court records say.
Carol Alleman, manager of the Galatyn Lodge, said she hired Cleaver in the fall to install high speed Internet in the hotel.
“I gave her a deposit to buy equipment from a subcontractor, but she never did,” Alleman said.
When she hired Cleaver to do the job, Alleman said she wasn’t aware of the pending theft allegations.
“I’m very upset with and for her,” Alleman said. “She has been going through difficult times, but she has made big mistakes.”
Alleman said she went to the police a month after Cleaver should have finished the job.
“She wasn’t returning calls. And at that point I felt something was wrong,” Alleman said. “I called her and said, “Kathleen, tell me what’s going on because I’m going to the police,’ but she never called back.”
A new bond for $7,500 was filed on Jan. 13 and Cleaver’s next appearance in court on the charges stemming from the Streamline Builders and Vail Symposium cases will be on March 10.
Court records for those cases show that from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2001, Cleaver allegedly stole money, a cell phone and a computer from Streamline Builders. For this alleged crime, Cleaver was charged in April 2003 with one count of felony theft.
In the same month, she was arrested a second time on suspicion of felony theft for allegedly stealing from the Vail Symposium. The unauthorized expenses were allegedly made from Nov. 1, 2002 through Oct. 1 of last year. Crittenden says Cleaver allegedly charged more than $2,000 to a Vail Symposium credit card to pay her bond and an attorney, among other things.
If convicted of the first theft charge, Cleaver could face up to twelve years in prison, a fine of $3,000 to $750,000 and mandatory parole of five years. If she is convicted on the second, less-serious theft charge, she could get up to six years in prison, a fine of $2,000 to $500,000 and mandatory parole of three years.
Cleaver’s embezzlement case is among dozens filed in the Vail Valley in the past years.
Karen Kaffka, the former chief financial officer for a general contractory, moved to Nevada last spring after pleading guilty to stealing $2 million from the Edwards company. Mark Mogul, who will stand trial in March for allegedly stealing $341,000 from time-share sales in Edwards, moved from Avon to Breckenridge. And Brandon Outlaw, a former resident of Avon accused of stealing more than $700,000 in condo fees from some 400 people in Eagle County, faces a trial in May. Outlaw, a convicted felon, moved to Tulsa, Okla. where he now faces drug trafficking charges.
Cleaver, who acknowledged she took the money from the Vail Symposium, said she wants to stay in the valley, where she has lived for 15 years.
Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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