Warrant: former treasurer kept $28K of party money - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Warrant: former treasurer kept $28K of party money

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Photos of Jeffery Gordon Fogg from Pueblo County Sheriff's Office (left) and the El Salvadoran National Civil Police (right) Photos of Jeffery Gordon Fogg from Pueblo County Sheriff's Office (left) and the El Salvadoran National Civil Police (right)

The former treasurer of the Pueblo County Republican Party was supposed to go to trial on for embezzlement charges next week. Instead, he left the country. Jeffery Gordon Fogg, age 50, was taken into custody by federal law enforcement officers in El Salvador last month. Fogg had been charged with two felony counts for theft and financial transaction crimes in Pueblo back in December of 2016.  He failed to appear in court last month.

According to court papers filed for his arrest warrant in Pueblo, investigators with the Pueblo Police and 10th Judicial District Attorney's Office reviewed some 13 bank accounts that Fogg controlled.  They believe he frequently moved money back and forth between the party's accounts and his own personal accounts. 

Some of the first signs trouble to other party members were bounced checks. A $200 invoice for promotional materials printed for a golf fundraiser went unpaid. So, former party chair George Rivera personally covered the cost. The check that Fogg wrote to Rivera in May of 2015 for reimbursement bounced. So too did a $50 donation to the Pueblo Veterans Council in July of 2015. The veterans were building a new monument at Drew Dix Park.

Several people complained on Facebook to former party executive committee member Brian Mater about the Veterans Council bounced check prompting him to confronted Fogg. A meeting was held between Fogg and the members of the executive committee.

When asked about the bounced checks, Fogg explained that he kept the bulk of the party's money in savings to avoid losses in the event of a bank card becoming lost or stolen. Fogg told the committee he would transfer the money as checks were written to cover the expenses. When the group wanted to see the party's monthly bank statements, Fogg said that he opted out of online banking but kept the paper records at his house.

He agreed to meet Mater and fellow committee member Victor Head at the bank the next day. Mater said Fogg showed up late and became visibly nervous when the teller printed off the account statement.

"I asked for the account balance and he told the lady to go ahead and print it off and when she printed it off he looked at the paper and he started shaking, I mean shaking extremely bad," Mater said.

The account was supposed to have a balance of around $10,000. The print out showed a balance of $87.50. 

"I said, 'let me see that Jeff' and he wouldn't give it to us and we got kind of confrontational right there in the bank lobby," said Mater.

The bank statements also indicated a pending deposit of $9,400.  Investigators would later determine that Fogg had deposited that money at an ATM just a few hours before the confrontation at the bank.

Prosecutors allege that Fogg made 79 transfers out of the party bank accounts into his personal accounts totaling $56,264. He made 42 transfers in to the party accounts totaling $27,432 leaving a difference of around $28,831 missing.

Mater believes that the party lost much more than that due to the fact that Fogg collected all of the cash donation made by party members at events and fund raisers.
"Anybody who donated any type of cash that went into the bank account, the District Attorney pretty much gave Jeff the benefit of the doubt and said, OK this is Jeff Fogg's money, not the actual donors," Mater said.

Since the donations were technically unreported campaign contributions, the party was forced to hire an outside company to come in and help them put the books back in order.

"We feel vindicated over his arrest," Rivera said of the developments in El Salvador. "obviously this doesn't prove that he was guilty of the charges that were filed her in Pueblo, but I believe it gives a lot of credence to what we did," Rivera said.

The US and El Salvador have a bilateral extradition treaty that dates back to the early 1900's which lists specific crimes that would qualify. Embezzlement is one of those crimes. News 5 reached out to District Attorney Jeff Chostner and media representatives for the US State Department. Neither could tell us if Mr. Fogg will be returned to Pueblo.

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