The former chief executive of a business owned by San Ildefonso Pueblo pleaded guilty Monday to embezzling more than $20,000 in grant money.
Donn Wiese, 69, headed San Ildefonso Services, which provides janitorial, infrastructure and construction services to Los Alamos National Laboratory, could face more than a decade behind bars when sentenced Aug. 28, the state Attorney General’s Office said.
Wiese pleaded guilty to one count of larceny over $20,000 and one count of tampering with evidence; he was accused of fabricating an email from the grant donor in an effort to prevent prosecution.
A Santa Fe County grand jury indicted Wiese in October 2017 on five felony counts including extortion, money laundering and embezzlement. A 2016 search warrant affidavit said Wiese picked up a reimbursement check for more than $20,000 for purchases made with a grant from an Española nonprofit, the Regional Development Corp.
Wiese was fired from San Ildefonse Services 10 days later for underbidding a $3 million contract the company secured from Los Alamos National Laboratory for pipeline work, according to the court document.
In December 2016, an attorney for the company filed a complaint alleging the former executive embezzled the grant funds as well as computer equipment.