Former El Jebel theater workers arrested for alleged embezzlement
Aspen CO Colorado
BASALT – The former general manager and former bookkeepers of Movieland have been arrested for allegedly teaming to embezzle funds from the theater in El Jebel, the Basalt Police Department said in a press release Thursday.
Gabriel “Gabe” Matherly, 30, of Glenwood Springs, turned himself in to the Eagle County Jail on Thursday, the police department said. He was arrested for felony theft and released on $50,000 bond, according to authorities.
Perri Ann Mickles, 50, of Aspen, was arrested March 3 by the Aspen Police Department, which assisted the Basalt Police Department in the case. She was transferred to the Eagle County Jail and posted a $50,000 bond on Sunday.
The duo allegedly embezzled roughly $31,000 through missing and falsified bank deposits, rebate checks from an unauthorized ATM machine in the bank lobby, rebate checks from a Pepsi distributor and a “scam” involving movie coupons, the press release said.
Officials at Bow Tie Cinema Corp., the parent company of Movieland, became suspicious in January 2010 of missing deposits over the prior 14 months, according to an arrest warrant issued for Matherly. The money was allegedly recorded in Movieland cash registers but never deposited in the theater’s bank. Accounting discrepancies were also allegedly found.
The arrest warrant said corporate officials confronted Matherly on Feb. 4, 2010, then fired him.
On Feb. 9, Bow Tie officials reported they toured the Movieland facilities and found a “maverick” office which they claim Matherly set up in an adjacent building.
“No one from Bow Tie Cinemas, including local owners Ben and Charley Moss, knew of this office’s existence,” the arrest warrant said. They allegedly found deposit slips for $378 and $227.75 recorded for deposits by Matherly in the maverick office but the money was never deposited in the bank, the arrest warrant said.
Mickles was an accountant for Charley Moss since 1999 and her duties were expanded at some point to include Movieland’s books, according to court documents. Mickles allegedly sent an e-mail to Moss on Feb. 11, 2010, saying she had made a “huge mistake” that could impact the investigation. She claimed that Matherly often delayed making deposits to the bank and she eventually felt she had “no control over Gabe’s actions.”
Before the Movieland books were turned over to Bow Tie Cinemas for auditing, Mickles said undertook some maneuvers to make the books “as clean as possible.”
Police suspect Matherly and Mickles were working together. Mickles was also fired by the Mosses.
Matherly was interviewed by police on March 17, 2010, and denied he was working with Mickles in hiding deposits, the arrest warrant said.
Matherly said other managers had access to deposits during his time with Movieland, which Bow Tie officials deny.
Bow Tie’s internal audit with the assistance of a “forensic accounting firm” determined that the total loss was allegedly $62,340.88, the police department’s press release said.
The police department said it felt it could tie Matherly to financial losses of $30,972.52 through documentation.
The Aspen City Council directed staff to move forward with the Burlingame early childhood education center, but decided it needs more information on the affordable housing units that are part of the schematic design at a work session Monday.