A Santa Fe woman was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of embezzling more than $80,000 from The Club at Las Campanas after the country club’s manager noticed errors in the monthly financial reports earlier this month.

Santa Fe County deputies charged Nidia Bailon-Alderete, 44, with embezzlement and forgery — each a second-degree felony — after she was accused of forging checks under the name of the club’s general manager over the course of a year, according to a statement of probable cause filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court.

The sheriff’s office was contacted by the general manager after he noticed suspicious payments to the club’s “Gopher Fund,” which the statement said is used to pay between $5 and $10 to employees who are able to trap gophers on the property.

After noticing the inconsistencies Nov. 9, the manager investigated the strange payments further and learned approximately $83,000 had been written to the service member accountant, Bailon-Alderete, between September 2020 and November 2021.

Checks using the manager’s forged signature had been cashed at “multiple locations” in Santa Fe, according to the statement.

When deputies spoke with Bailon-Alderete, she admitted to forging the checks, stating she had been going through a “hard time in her life.” She told investigators she was able to forge the checks by placing a signed check from the general manager underneath a blank one and tracing the signature, the statement said. She estimated she took approximately $40,000 since January.

The Club at Las Campanas declined to comment.

Bailon-Alderete was arrested and booked into the Santa Fe County jail Wednesday and released on bond the next day.

(3) comments

Michael Grimler

It seems that embezzling is a favorite white-collar crime in New Mexico. Lots of these have popped up over the years.

Brian Weiss

An offense against trust and integrity and against every member of the Club. I hope she gets the max. No plea bargain, D.A.

Bob Bibbs

Brian is right!!!

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