An Arizona woman was indicted for allegedly embezzling $5.3 million from two construction businesses and a homeowner’s association in Mexico. Helen Dahlstrom is charged with multiple crimes, including fraud, theft, forgery, money laundering, and tampering. Authorities claim she spent the stolen money at Arizona casinos.
A seven-year scam
An Arizona grand jury handed down an indictment against Dahlstrom on Jan. 24th, 2022. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced the indictment on Mar. 18.
The scheme doesn’t look too complex. Dahlstrom worked as a bookkeeper for two companies, Lauderbach Builders Supply and L&L Manufactured Components.
With access to the company books, she wrote checks made out to “cash” and cashed them.
According to the indictment, Dahlstrom then forged company financial statements from 2013 to 2020.
Dahlstrom is also alleged to have stolen from a Mexico-based homeowners association for which she served as treasurer. Brnovich claims Dahlstrom forged Chollo Bay HOA’s financial statements in the indictment.
If convicted, Helen Dahlstrom faces a multi-year prison sentence. Arizona and states across the country hope cases like hers become even rarer.
The Tuscon area where Dahlstrom gambled away the stolen $5.3 million has six casino options. Authorities haven’t released the names of the two casinos she used to launder the money.
None of these casinos in Arizona were charged with a crime in the Dahlstrom case, as AG Brnovich doesn’t have any evidence of wrongdoing or that the casinos acted negligently.