Unemployment scam leads to arrest | AspenTimes.com

Unemployment scam leads to arrest

Chad Abraham

A Redstone man turned himself in Monday morning to face four felony charges related to an alleged unemployment scam that ripped off the Colorado Department of Revenue.David Kekar heard the charges against him during his first court appearance a few hours after surrendering. Under a state indictment, he is charged with two counts of theft of between $500 and $15,000, computer theft and forgery of government documents.Kekar told Judge James Boyd that he is the network architect for Eagle County.”I’ve started to pay …” he started to say, before Boyd cut him off and reminded him that anything he says can be used against him at trial.Prosecutor Andrew Heyl said an investigation by state authorities showed that Kekar’s alleged thefts occurred between Oct. 3, 2002, and March 20, 2003.Using a fake unemployment form, the suspect was able to take thousands of dollars from the Department of Revenue, Heyl said.For each of the theft charges, Kekar could face between two and six years in prison and fines of $2,000 to $500,000. With mitigating circumstances, the prison term could be as little as a year; if extreme circumstances are found, the maximum could be 12 years on each theft count.Boyd granted Kekar a $15,000 personal recognizance bond. The suspect said he has lived in Redstone for about 10 years.”I’ve been cooperating with the people involved in this,” he told Boyd. “I’d like to move forward and get it over with.”His next court date is Dec. 5.Other court newsA man charged with two felony menacing counts will be allowed to leave the country, Boyd ruled.Sean Gooding, 34, of Aspen, was arrested on Oct. 31 after he allegedly threatened two people with a gun during a night of drinking at his East Hopkins Avenue home.The arrest warrant says Gooding invited two people back to his residence for more drinking after the bar they were at closed. There, an argument ensued, and Gooding allegedly got out a 9mm handgun. After waving it around, he loaded the gun and pointed it at the heads of the two people, the warrant says.One of the victims wrestled with the armed suspect until police arrived, the warrant says. Gooding also faces a misdemeanor count of prohibited use of a weapon.Boyd agreed to let him travel abroad but said he must give court officials the address where he will be staying. Gooding is expected in court again Dec. 5.Also, the public defender’s office will represent a man suspected of sexually assaulting his 5-year-old daughter. The Aspen resident, who is not being named to protect the child’s identity, is charged with incest and sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust; both are felonies.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is chad@aspentimes.com

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