Businessman accuses longtime local of theft |

Businessman accuses longtime local of theft

John Colson

Aspen police are reportedly looking for longtime local Jerry Bennett, hoping to question him about charges that he stole money from a bookkeeping client.

Law enforcement officials would not say whether a warrant has been issued for Bennett over allegations that he absconded with nearly $10,000 from his former client, Walter’s Carpets.

Bennett, who was living in the Truscott Place housing complex outside Aspen, could not be reached for comment. A call to his former telephone number was answered by a man who said Bennett had moved out approximately a week ago, leaving no forwarding address.

Police routinely will not release information about warrants until the suspect has been arrested.

But Walter Voight, owner of Walter’s Carpets (formerly Wally’s Wugs), confirmed recently that he went to the police after becoming suspicious about Bennett’s actions.

According to Voight, he hired Bennett last fall to help set up a new computerized bookkeeping system for the carpet business.

Voight, who called himself “computer illiterate,” said he first suspected something was wrong when he noticed several checks had not been entered in the computer system.

“He scammed my signature,” Voight claimed, accusing Bennett of somehow copying his signature and using it to write checks to himself. He estimated that Bennett had gotten away with “close to $10,000.”

Bennett, who has lived in Aspen for decades, was active in a number of political causes over the years and was well known in local political circles. But several locals who have known him in that capacity for years said they had not seen him in weeks and had no idea where he might be.

Several locals who have known him for years said they had not seen him in weeks and had no idea where he might be.

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