Ex-cop again facing charges

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Accused of embezzlement

By Martin Salazar

The former Las Vegas police officer who got in trouble with the law several years ago for defrauding the city is in hot water again.

Shawn Montoya, 41, who resides on Erb Place, was arrested and charged last Friday with fraud, a third-degree felony, and with two counts of embezzlement, two counts of forgery and a single count of identity theft, all fourth degree felonies.

The arrest warrant affidavit filed in magistrate court Friday by Las Vegas police Sgt. Pamela Sandoval alleges that Montoya used his employer’s credit card to make two large purchases. The affidavit also alleges that Montoya forged an insurance document belonging to that same employer and the contractor’s license of another former employer in order to establish a fake construction company.

The alleged scheme was discovered when Shawn Medrano, the owner of North Eastern Construction, was notified of two unauthorized charges on his company credit card. One of those charges was for $2,000 on Aug. 3 and the other was for $1,872 on Aug. 6 for windows from Sierra Pacific Windows.

The windows were delivered to a home in El Prado.

Medrano fired Montoya after discovering the charges.

Montoya vacated the company’s office, and the office manger later found a Desert West contractor’s license with Montoya’s home address on it. She also found an insurance form from Farm Bureau Financial Services with Montoya’s name and home address on it with the policy number belonging to North Eastern Construction.

Las Vegas police were notified and launched an investigation.

According to the affidavit, Sandoval spoke to the owner of the El Prado home where the windows were delivered, and the owner told her that Montoya is the contractor overseeing a job at his home. He told her that Montoya identified himself as the owner and contractor of Desert West Construction.

The homeowner confirmed that the windows were delivered to his house but said he paid Montoya for them.

Last Thursday, Sandoval spoke with David Bennett, the real owner of Desert West Construction, and Bennett told her that his contractor’s license hasn’t been active since 2011. He told police he never authorized Montoya, an ex-fired employee, to use his license or business name.

Online jail records show that Montoya remained behind bars as of Tuesday.

Montoya made headlines in 2009 when he was accused of double-dipping while working for the city and taking gas for personal use. He was charged with one count of fraud and 19 counts of forgery in connection with his work for the city.

Prosecutors alleged that Montoya used his city credit card to buy fuel for his personal vehicle. They also accused him of filing false insurance claims under a worker’s compensation case that arose while he was employed with the city.

Authorities also discovered that he was logging hours at the police department at the same time he was working as a security guard at Walmart.

He pleaded guilty in 2010 to one count each of fraud and filing a false claim, both fourth-degree felonies. He was given probation, ordered to do community service and required to pay full restitution to the police department and to an insurance company that he defrauded.

Online court records indicate that Montoya received a conditional discharge on those charges, meaning that because he served his probation and stayed out of trouble during that period the charges were officially dismissed.

He resigned from the police department in March 2008.

He was later hired as Springer’s police chief but was demoted to code enforcement and animal control officer after the state Law Enforcement Academy board suspended his officer certification for six months based on the investigation into his alleged improper use of a gas card at the city of Las Vegas.