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Woman accused of stealing to pay bail

Veronica Whitney

A former Eagle resident is accused of twice embezzling businesses in Eagle County. In the first case, she is accused of stealing from a company in Gypsum. The second time, she allegedly used the credit card of a nonprofit group, the Vail Symposium, to pay her bond and attorney’s fees.

Kathleen Johnson Cleaver, 56, faces 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.

Cleaver, who is out on $7,500 bond, is also accused of stealing money from the Vail Symposium where she was a part-time computer consultant. The money was allegedly used to pay for her bond and also to pay for her attorney’s fees, court records say.



Eagle County Deputy District Attorney Greg Crittenden says Cleaver allegedly charged more than $2,000 to the Vail Symposium credit card to pay her bond and her attorney, among other things.

Court records show that from Jan. 1, 2001 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 theft, a level III felony.



In April, she was arrested again and charged with theft. This time it was for allegedly stealing from the Vail Symposium. Cleaver was charged with a level IV felony.

The unauthorized expenses were allegedly made from Nov. 1, 2002 through Oct. 1 of this year.

Records filed with the Eagle County Justice Center allege Cleaver used the Vail Symposium credit card to pay $1,125 for her bond in April and $1,000 in June to a local attorney representing her.



In July, while going through the Vail Symposium files and financial statements, Vail Symposium’s director Ebby Pinson found that Cleaver had allegedly been using one of the organization’s credit cards for personal expenses and had also used the Vail Symposium’s checking account to make unauthorized telephone payments – while she wasn’t a signatory to the checking account. Cleaver allegedly had also falsified Vail Symposium reconciliation statements to hide these transactions.

According to court records, the card issued in Kathleen Cleaver’s name had a balance of more than $2,000. The transaction report for several months showed many unauthorized charges for Cleaver’s personal expenses. Those included: bond payment, the payment to the attorney, a car rental expense, lodging expenses and many cash advances.

In court records, Pinson says this card was for business use only and there should have been no personal charges.

Cleaver also allegedly used $2,500 from the nonprofit bank account to cover the Vail Symposium credit card.

Cleaver’s next appearance at the Eagle County Justice Center is Jan. 14. In the meantime, the District Attorney’s Office is seeking to file a motion to revoke Cleaver’s bond.

If convicted of the level III 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 level IV charge, she could get up to six years in prison, a fine of $2,000 to $500,000 and mandatory parole of three years.

Other major embezzlement cases still pending in Eagle County include cases against former Avon residents Brandon Outlaw and Mark Mogul.

Outlaw, 30, will be sentenced in December after pleading guilty to stealing more than $700,000 in local condo fees. Mogul, who had pleaded not guilty, faces trial in March for allegedly stealing $351,000 from time-share sales in Edwards.

Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at vwhitney@vaildaily.com.


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