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December 3, 2013
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Housekeeper Elizabeth Dominguez jailed after alleged check forgery

An 18-year-old Carbondale woman remained in the Pitkin County Jail on Monday evening under a $10,000 bond following her Friday-afternoon arrest on seven possible felonies involving theft and forgery.

Elizabeth Dominguez, who also goes by Daniela Elizabeth Jaramillo-Dominguez, appeared briefly before District Judge Gail Nichols on Monday morning. The public defender representing Dominguez said she needed more time to study the case and asked for a continuance, which Nichols granted. A possible bond reduction will be discussed at the next scheduled hearing on Dec. 16.

In Aspen policeman Peter Bauer’s statement in support of an arrest warrant, he alleges that Dominguez, with the help of another woman who posed as her interpreter, presented a forged check to Alpine Bank in Aspen for $5,000 in her name on Nov. 21 and asked to open an account. The alleged accomplice later was identified as Elsa Eva Murillo Gonzalez, who also was arrested and jailed last week in Garfield County. She has since bonded out, police said.

The check had been made out to Dominguez, a housekeeper, supposedly on behalf of a part-time Aspen resident. After opening the account, Dominguez asked for a $2,000 withdrawal, which the bank allowed, Bauer wrote.

The investigation also showed that the next morning Dominguez wrote a “starter check” for $1,000 and cashed it at the Alpine Bank branch in Carbondale, according to the police officer’s statement. Then, later that day, another check belonging to the homeowner was forged and cashed for $2,000 at the same banking company’s branch in Glenwood Springs, Bauer’s statement says.

Again on Nov. 22, a check for $5,000 belonging to the homeowner was forged and deposited at the Willits branch of Alpine Bank, with $1,000 taken in cash, police said.

“In total, Alpine Bank distributed $6,000 cash to Dominguez and Gonzales as a result of their fraud,” Bauer wrote.

On Nov. 26, Alpine Bank’s fraud department, based in Glenwood Springs, contacted Bauer. The bank sent the Aspen police officer several photographs of the two women from when they were inside the Aspen branch, Bauer wrote.

“The Aspen Police Department has had several dealings with the woman known as Elizabeth Dominguez and during those encounters she has given different names,” Bauer added in his statement.

During the investigation, the part-time Aspenite and owner of the checks told police that she had employed Gonzalez as a maid for the previous eight months, he wrote.

“She said that no one, including her maid, had reason to access her desk where the checks were located,” the statement says. “She said that she never wrote a check or authorized someone else to write a check to an Elizabeth Dominguez.”

Bauer’s investigation continued with assistance from Detective Walter Chi, who learned from another law-enforcement agency that Dominguez and Gonzales likely were roommates in Carbondale. Both were arrested on Friday.

asalvail@aspentimes.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Dec 3, 2013 12:00AM Published Dec 4, 2013 11:17AM Copyright 2013 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.