January 11, 2016

Cruces police arrest two for embezzling $180K from President Pro Tem

Las Cruces police have arrested two men for allegedly stealing $180,000 from the campaign of Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen as well as personal funds.

Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen

Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen

The men, Stephen Dale Siddall and William “Billy” Samora, face charges of embezzlement. Siddall faces multiple charges including charges of embezzlement over $20,000, nine counts of forgery and one count of identity theft. Samora faces one count of embezzlement over $2,500. Both face a charge of conspiracy.

Both were arrested on Monday.

According to police, the two ended up stealing more than $125,000 from Papen’s personal checking account and nearly $50,000 from her campaign account. Police say the embezzlement from her campaign account ranged from Sept. 30, 2013 to May 9, 2015. The funds taken from her personal account ranged from Jan. 2 2013 to Sept. 30, 2015.

Police had been investigating the case since last July.

Just days ago, Papen accused Siddall, a longtime assistant, of stealing the funds. The non-profit news outlet New Mexico In Depth outlined the allegedly embezzled charges.

This isn’t Siddall’s only problem with the law. He was charged with fraudulent use of a credit card of more than $500 and related charges late last year. Those charges say he fraudulently used the credit card of a Las Cruces city councilor.

Int he newest charges, police say that Siddall sold a watch and bracelet that belonged to Papen to a pawn shop.

Siddall is facing a $75,000 cash-only bond, while Samora is facing a $50,000 cash bond.