Local Casinos Used By Secretary Of State Duran In Money Laundering

by Staff Reporter / Aug 31, 2015 / comments
Secretary of State Dianna Duran

Local Casinos Used By Secretary Of State Duran In Money Laundering: Charges Filed

Staff Report

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas charged Secretary of State Dianna Duran Friday in District Court with 64 counts including embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, violations of the Campaign Practice Act, tampering with public records, conspiracy and violation of a Governmental Conduct Act.

The investigation into Duran’s alleged misuse of campaign funds and withdrawal of money at casinos around the state began following a tip. Duran allegedly withdrew over $400,000 from her campaign account to pay for gaming debts, including $1,000 at Ohkay Owingeh Casino and $62,000 at Camel Rock Casino. The largest amount was at Sandia Casino outside Albuquerque where she appears to have withdrawn $245,000 over two years.

Gov. Susana Martinez said in a statement to the media, “I have spoken to the Attorney General about the charges brought against the Secretary of State. These allegations are deeply troubling and concerning, and all relevant state agencies have and will continue to assist the Attorney General throughout the process. It’s important that New Mexicans understand that no one is above the law and that every New Mexican is treated equally throughout our system.”

Duran’s attorney issued a statement confirming receipt of the complaint filed by the AG’s Office and asks the public not to jump to conclusions.

Duran, 59, is married to former Los Alamos County Chief Deputy Assessor Leo Barraza. She has served as Secretary of State since 2011 and formerly as a state senator from District 40, first elected in 1992.