Updated: Feb 17, 2013 5:43 PM
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — Police say crooks stole thousands of dollars from the Democratic Party of New Mexico right under the noses of party officials.
An audit revealed a lot of money was missing.
Police say all signs pointed to a now former employee of the party and her friend, who faced a judge Sunday.
Police say former Democratic Party of New Mexico worker Cassandra Romero and a friend wrote checks to themselves, totaling to more than $2,000.
Her friend, 20-year-old Larry Maez, was arrested on charges including embezzlement of more than $500, fraud involving more than $500 and extortion.
A criminal complaint shows the Democratic Party’s executive director called police two weeks ago when an audit revealed four checks were unaccounted for.
Three were made out to Maez and one was made out to Romero.
The complaint shows Romero admitted to going into someone’s office last month with Maez, taking checks and using a computer to sign them under the party chairman's name.
In court Sunday, a judge set bond for Maez, ignoring his requests to lower it because Maez has another felony case pending.
“Mr. Maez I am going to impose a bond $5,000 cash or surety.. Not return to location of alleged incident,” Judge Henry Alaniz said.
The Democratic Party of New Mexico sent KRQE News 13 a statement saying an employee since October of last year was arrested and is no longer working with them.
DPNM says they're saddened by the events and they're working with APD in the ongoing investigation.
Romero had her first court appearance two weeks ago.
She's facing felony charges including embezzlement, forgery and fraud.
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