GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – A recently laid-off employee is accused of embezzling more than $872,000 from a Greeley business. Aaron Ray Pelto, 49, worked as a controller for landscaping company Green Earth Environmental.
An office worker at the company contacted police and accused Pelto of embezzling more than $307,000 since 2019. Investigators later found Pelto allegedly embezzled more than $872,000 since 2016, according to court documents.
Police said Pelto oversaw all financial aspects of the business and was the only employee with access to the company’s payroll in QuickBooks. The investigation found 48 fabricated checks issued to different vendors.
Green Earth Environmental hired a third party IT company to examine Pelto’s computer. The company found Pelto deleted a backup file on his work computer moments before he was laid off.
Investigators combed through payroll records and found Pelto received 107 unauthorized direct deposits into numerous accounts totaling $868,224. Pelto is also accused of issuing two physical checks to himself totaling $3,906.
Pelto was booked into the Weld County Jail on theft and cybercrime charges. He recently purchased property in Hawaii, according to interviews with family members.