New Mexico’s Secretary of State is facing 65 criminal charges, the latest of which is identity theft. Dianna Duran’s latest charge stems from allegations that she forged the name of a former colleague on financial records, adding to a mountain of other claims of fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and more.
In short, things are not going well for Ms Duran. The new criminal complaint, filed Friday (Oct. 2), involves Don Kidd, a man whose signature she allegedly hi-jacked. Duran touted him as a campaign treasurer beginning in 2010, yet Kidd allegedly told authorities that he never held the position, and doesn’t know how his name ended up on 10 documents stating otherwise.
Reports the AB Journal:
The new charge, a fourth-degree felony identity theft charge, means there are now 65 total violations alleged by the Attorney General’s Office. Although the amounts withdrawn at eight casinos run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the counts against her revolve around 19 transactions totaling about $13,000.
In addition to the new charge, the Attorney General’s Office also filed a notice Friday that it intends to introduce evidence showing Duran misrepresented her finances in tax returns for four straight years, starting in 2010. More than 100 transactions that appear in Duran’s campaign accounts – including ATM withdrawals and casino transactions – were not listed as expenditures in her campaign filings, the AG’s office also alleged.
Duran’s attorney, Erlinda Johnson, said late Friday that she had not yet reviewed the AG’s Office’s latest filings.
Before Friday’s court filings, a contract attorney for the Secretary of State’s Office had responded to [Attorney General Hector] Balderas’ decision to formally sever ties between the two offices by telling the attorney general his duty to provide legal advice and representation to the secretary of state is not optional.
Duran has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Republican politician has filed a motion to remove the state’s Attorney General from her case, arguing that the Democrat’s allegations are politically motivated.