Former bookkeeper embezzles nearly $400,000 from the McCall Organization

Created: 07/01/2014 5:31 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An Albuquerque woman is accused of taking her employer to the cleaners.

Police say Linda Herrera,65, embezzled nearly $400,000 – even making mortgage payments on her house with some of the money.

Herrera worked as bookkeeper for Howard McCall, a well-known Albuquerque and Moriarty real estate developer and all-around entrepreneur. She is now facing 5 counts of embezzlement, 204 counts of forgery and 2 counts of fraud, for a rip-off that continued over a four year period. The McCall Organization owns businesses like the Route 66 RV Park in Edgewood, and the Comfort Inn in Moriarty, where she’s accused of stealing most of the money. Howard McCall says he came very close to going bust, and what saved him was the sheer variety of businesses his family owns.

“I was getting ready to retire,” McCall said in his Albuquerque office Tuesday afternoon, while Herrera made her first felony appearance in Metro Court in Downtown Albuquerque. “It was time and plans were being made and all that sort of thing. Now I’m probably going to have to spend another ten years working, trying to pay all this money back that she took.”

Police say Herrera signed a statement admitting to the embezzlement and the forgery, including mortgage payments on her own house, which she signed over to McCall’s company to pay back some of the money.

“You feel like you’ve been gutted,” McCall said. “ Your throat’s been cut open because you trusted ‘em so much and everybody felt like they trusted her and they liked here and so therefore she could get by with whatever she wanted to get by with and you feel like your insides have been torn out.”

The judge reduced Herrera’s bond from $50,000 to $10,000. She remained in the county jail Tuesday evening.

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