Vestas Theft Case Sends Shockwaves Through Community
WINDSOR, Colo. (CBS4) – Neighbors of an Eaton woman who is a suspect in a large embezzlement case weren’t in a very forgiving mood following news of her arrest.Denna Randall Martinez, 44, is charged with stealing more than $2 million from the wind turbine company Vestas.
A warrant for Martinez went out last week after an investigation that lasted about four months.
“I’ve seen a lot of unusual cases in my tenure here, but that’s certainly the largest amount of money that I remember in a theft case,” Windsor Police Chief John Michaels told CBS4.
Martinez, who worked as the finance director of the company’s Windsor plant, forged the signature of her boss on a $50,000 check and used that money to buy a Ford pickup, according to the arrest affadavit. She also reportedly used stolen Vestas money to buy her home in Eaton, which is valued at $775,000.
Jill Martin, a neighbor, told CBS4 she grew to know Martinez and her husband well.
“They seemed well kept. (They appeared to) have a lot of money and were very nice people,” Martin said.
In addition to the truck and the home, Martinez allegedly used the stolen money to spend $120,000 on home improvements and used $60,000 to obtain adjoining property.
There were also elaborate vacations, money spent on furniture and mortgage payments.
“They had a BMW, a big truck, an SUV. They had taken trips. They had done all this beautiful yard work to this big house and one day they just left,” neighbor Jill Martin said.
Martin says Martinez left in December, the same month she was fired by Vestas. Police say she embezzeled a total of $2.1 million over a 3 year period, and that $400,000 might have been also diverted.
Another neighbor in Eaton, Marsha Schmidtke, told CBS4 she thinks Martinez deserves jail time if she is convicted.
“I felt bad for her family, but not for her,” Schmidtke said.
Marinez faces two felony counts of forgery and theft. If found guilty she faces as much as 12 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.