Friday, August 20, 2010

Man accused of stealing from employer

Landscaping company allegedly bilked for more than $12,000

Express Staff Writer

Jose Eduardo Schobert-Gonzalez

A man suspected of being an illegal immigrant has been accused of stealing more than $12,000 from his employer, a Bellevue landscaping company.

Three felony charges—a single count of grand theft and two counts of forgery—were filed in July against 32-year-old Jose Eduardo Schobert-Gonzalez. Court records state that he lived in Hailey and was employed at All Seasons Landscaping.

Both grand theft and forgery are punishable in Idaho by up to 14 years in prison.

An immigration detainer has been filed against Schobert-Gonzalez by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. It accuses him of being in the United States illegally.

He remained incarcerated Thursday in the Blaine County jail. Bond has been set at $10,000.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug 31, in Blaine County Magistrate Court. Schobert-Gonzalez has retained Ketchum attorney Andrew Parnes to represent him.

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Though Schobert-Gonzalez was arrested on July 16, the Blaine County Sheriff's Office at that time declined to release information on the case, explaining that it was still under investigation.

A probable-cause affidavit filed by sheriff's Detective Mark Dalton states that the investigation was started on July 15 after a complaint was lodged by Mark Martens, owner of All Seasons Landscaping.

The affidavit alleges that Schobert-Gonzalez had been "falsifying work reports for former employees, no longer employed with All Seasons, collecting the checks issued to the former employees and cashing said checks at Video Mexico" in Bellevue.

Dalton accuses Schobert-Gonzalez of using the names of seven former All Seasons Landscaping employees and illegally forging signatures and cashing numerous checks in their names. Dalton alleged that Schobert-Gonzalez stole $12,457 from All Seasons Landscaping and that "this criminal enterprise has existed and played out over the past several months and that other conspirators, knowing and unknowing, may also be involved."

According to court records, additional charges may be filed in the case.

Records state that Schobert-Gonzalez has no past criminal history and that he has family members living in the Wood River Valley.

Terry Smith:

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