Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Woman says love made her steal $11,000,000

Colorado revenue worker stole for love

Tax-fund thefts
By Felisa Cardona
The Denver Post
Posted: 07/16/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT
Updated: 07/16/2009 12:27:57 PM MDT


Former state Revenue Department supervisor Michelle Cawthra appears in court on May 1, 2007. (Pool | GEORGE KOCHANIEC, JR.)

Love motivated Michelle Cawthra to steal $11 million from the Colorado Department of Revenue and funnel the tax returns into her ex-boyfriend's bank accounts.

Cawthra testified Wednesday that she falsified documents and created fake businesses so that her former lover, Hysear Randell, could receive millions in tax refunds in order to pay for his business ventures, delinquent child support, land deals, diamond jewelry and expensive cars.

Some of the transactions, which took place over more than two years, were in the thousands of dollars and included money from unclaimed taxpayer refunds.

Cawthra told the jury that she often used her co-workers' computer passwords to adjust tax returns so that the trail did not come back to

Hysear Don Randell (Special to The Post)

"I did things I don't think I otherwise would have done had I not been in love with him," Cawthra testified.

Prosecutor Kandace Gerdes asked Cawthra what Randell needed in exchange for love.

"Money, I guess," Cawthra said, and began to cry.

Cawthra also told Gerdes that except for a few pieces of jewelry and a couple of trips, she did not live a luxurious lifestyle and did not share in the money she stole for Randell.

"I did what I was told," she said.

Randell, 42, is on trial in Denver District Court on multiple criminal charges including violations of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, theft by receiving, forgery and computer crime.

Randell's defense lawyer, Scott Reisch, said that his client did not know Cawthra, 32, was stealing money from her employer, but thought the money was coming from her family trust fund.

Reisch tried to show the jury that Cawthra was a woman obsessed with making Randell her "Prince Charming" by luring him away from his wife, Trudy Randell, with money. Trudy Randell was also charged in the case and has pleaded guilty to theft but has not yet been sentenced.

Cawthra's testimony is part of a plea deal with prosecutors. She later hopes to reduce the 24-year prison sentence she is serving.

Cawthra testified she did not have a family trust fund and that while she did try to lure Randell away from his wife, he knew the money was coming from the state of Colorado. The two met in 2002 at the Department of Revenue, when Randell briefly worked in the mailroom as a temporary employee.

She told Gerdes that before they were arrested in 2007, Randell again asked her to take money, but this time he wanted her to try and get $13 million to $14 million in one shot.

"As this went on over time there was more and more pressure to get more and more money and it was hard and the pressure was making me crack," Cawthra said.







Ex-Revenue supervisor gets 24 years in theft

By Felisa Cardon
The Denver Post
Posted: 02/28/2009 12:30:00 AM MST
Updated: 02/28/2009 01:33:48 AM MST


A former Colorado Department of Revenue employee was sentenced to 24 years in prison on Friday and ordered to pay $10.8 million in restitution to the state.

Michelle Cawthra, 32, who was a supervisor in the Taxpayer Services Division, apologized during the sentencing hearing held in Denver District Court and said she took responsibility for her actions.

Cawthra's attorney asked Judge Sheila Rappaport to consider a community corrections sentence so she could work to pay back a portion of the money she stole, but the judge said she could not find any reason to be lenient and sent Cawthra to state prison.

Revenue director Roxy Huber appeared at the hearing and asked the judge to send a strong message in sentencing Cawthra.

"We are public servants that must be held to a higher standard," Huber said.

Grand-jury indictments say Cawthra funneled the money to her boyfriend, Hysear Randell, from August 2005 through 2007 to buy cars, jewelry, travel, real estate and to pay living expenses.

There were more than 50 transfers to various companies and entities in Randell's name ranging from $454 to $450,000.

Randell, 41, has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go to trial in July.

Randell's wife, Trudy, 38, has pleaded guilty to theft and receiving more than $15,000. She will be sentenced Aug. 7.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home


June 2021   May 2021   April 2021   March 2021   February 2021   January 2021   December 2020   November 2020   October 2020   September 2020   August 2020   July 2020   June 2020   May 2020   April 2020   March 2020   February 2020   January 2020   December 2019   November 2019   October 2019   September 2019   August 2019   July 2019   June 2019   May 2019   April 2019   March 2019   February 2019   January 2019   December 2018   November 2018   October 2018   September 2018   August 2018   July 2018   June 2018   May 2018   April 2018   March 2018   February 2018   January 2018   December 2017   November 2017   October 2017   September 2017   August 2017   July 2017   June 2017   May 2017   April 2017   March 2017   February 2017   January 2017   December 2016   November 2016   October 2016   September 2016   August 2016   July 2016   June 2016   May 2016   April 2016   March 2016   February 2016   January 2016   December 2015   November 2015   October 2015   September 2015   August 2015   July 2015   June 2015   May 2015   April 2015   March 2015   February 2015   January 2015   December 2014   November 2014   October 2014   September 2014   August 2014   July 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014   March 2014   February 2014   January 2014   December 2013   November 2013   October 2013   September 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013   May 2013   April 2013   March 2013   February 2013   January 2013   December 2012   November 2012   October 2012   September 2012   August 2012   July 2012   June 2012   May 2012   April 2012   March 2012   February 2012   January 2012   December 2011   November 2011   October 2011   September 2011   August 2011   July 2011   June 2011   May 2011   April 2011   March 2011   February 2011   January 2011   December 2010   November 2010   October 2010   September 2010   August 2010   July 2010   June 2010   May 2010   April 2010   March 2010   February 2010   January 2010   December 2009   November 2009   October 2009   September 2009   August 2009   July 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   December 2008  

Powered by Lottery PostSyndicated RSS FeedSubscribe