The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Roswell couple faces more than 50 felony charges


September 25, 2019

ROSWELL — A Roswell couple faces more than 50 felony charges in connection to theft from the Cattle Baron restaurant franchise, according to court documents.

Brian Casaus, 42, is charged with four counts of larceny, 21 counts of money laundering and three counts of tax fraud.

Tammy Casaus, 49, spouse of Brian and a former payroll coordinator for Cattle Baron, faces 21 counts of money laundering and three counts of tax fraud.

Roswell-based Cattle Baron Restaurants, Inc. operates nine locations in New Mexico and Texas, along with various Farley’s and Pasta Cafe locations.

The charges were announced via press release Monday morning from New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas.

According to the criminal complaints filed Friday in Chaves County Magistrate Court:

• Brian Casaus, who had sole access to the electronic transmission process of Cattle Baron’s payroll account, funded a personal bank account and a softball business bank account for $1.11 million between 2012 and his termination in 2016.

• State agents did an analysis of payroll records and found the difference between the direct deposit (Automated Clearing House) payments and the company’s bi-weekly employee check summary. The differences were reflected into direct deposits into bank accounts he held at Pioneer Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America and Washington Federal.

• An employee trained to be Brian Casaus’ backup, and his successor when he was terminated, said Casaus showed her how to transmit direct deposit files, but never showed her the detailed list of transactions and always compiled the direct deposit batch file private. When asked how discrepancies in the direct deposit batch file were resolved, the employee said Casaus would contact the company’s certified public accountant and be trusted at his word when he said he had already reconciled the errors.

• When the unlawful payroll was transferred into Brian Casaus’ accounts, Tammy Casaus would move the money to other accounts, withdraw cash, make payments to multiple credit cards and pay various personal expenses.

The two are scheduled to make their initial appearance in magistrate court Oct. 1. Court documents indicate Brian Casaus retained Luke Ragsdale as his attorney in March. A representative with the Ragsdale Law Firm declined comment beyond noting no appearance has been entered.


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