2 arrested for allegedly embezzling nearly $450K from local construction business

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By John Dobberstein, Editor

Two people have been arrested by the Broken Arrow Police Department in connection with a reported embezzlement from a local construction business. 

A patrol officer responded last December to a report of an embezzlement at the business, which police did not identify. The initial investigation revealed that an employee had embezzled company funds and converted them to personal use. The case was sent for follow up with a financial crimes detective.

Miriam Gaona (above) and Gumaro Ortiz (top). (Courtesy Broken Arrow PD)

The detective spent more than 200 hours investigating a large-scale embezzlement operation in which $449,168 was stolen between Aug. 14, 2019 and Nov. 30, 2021. The suspect attempted to take an additional $413,249, police said. 

"An intricate scheme was uncovered in which Miriam Gaona, an employee of the business, had created several fictitious companies in which she would write checks from her employer to her fictitious companies," BAPD said in a statement. 

The detective discovered that Miriam Gaona enlisted the assistance of an accomplice and duped others to illegally move money. Gumaro Ortiz is alleged to have knowingly assisted her in the embezzlement scheme. 

The investigation was submitted to Tulsa County District Court arrest warrants were issued for Gaona and Ortiz. Gaona was arrested by detectives Wednesday without incident and booked into the Tulsa County Jail, and Gumaro Ortiz turned himself in to the Tulsa County Jail for his warrant the same day.

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