Woman charged with embezzling funds of disabled individuals

Dawn Lebow is charged with 12 counts of forgery and 12 counts of embezzlement, according to a criminal complaint filed in Curry County Magistrate Court on Wednesday.

CNJ staff

A 43-year-old Clovis woman is charged with forgery and embezzlement following allegations she drained more than $13,000 from bank accounts of 12 disabled clients of ENMRSH.

Dawn Lebow is charged with 12 counts of forgery and 12 counts of embezzlement, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Curry County Magistrate Court.

ENMRSH is a privately owned company that provides services to disabled clients who qualify for funding through the New Mexico Department of Health’s Developmental Disability Support Division.

According to the complaint:

• The money was taken between March 13 and June 1, when Lebow was employed by Clovis’ New Mexico Bank and Trust.

Damian Houfek, vice president of ENMRSH, contacted Clovis police on Oct. 31 after discovering one of its clients’ bank accounts had been closed and a forged withdrawal slip for $116. Houfek later discovered 11 more accounts that had been closed and money taken.

• Houfek said $13,695 had been removed from accounts belonging to patients.

• In early December, Lebow told police she withdrew the funds from and closed the accounts of 12 ENMRSH clients.

She told police she used the money to fund a local men’s softball team.

• Police discovered the signatures of the 12 patients were forged on withdrawal and closure slips and their accounts were emptied and closed.

• ENMRSH officials told police the accounts were savings and burial accounts.

Messages left at ENMRSH seeking comment were not returned.

Greg Wiley, president of Clovis’ New Mexico Bank and Trust, said Lebow is no longer employed with the bank but declined further comment.

According to fdic.gov, embezzled funds may be covered by what’s called a banker’s blanket bond — a multi-purpose insurance policy for banks. New Mexico Bank and Trust is FDIC insured.

Lebow’s attorney, Randall Harris, was not immediately available for comment.

Lebow was released from the Curry County Adult Detention Center on an appearance bond, jail officials said.

Lebow could not be reached for comment.