Lubbock Woman Pleads Guilty in Colorado Embezzlement Case

Elizabeth Smith Carmichael, 48, of Lubbock, has pleaded guilty to embezzlement charges after being accused of stealing more than $450,000 from a Colorado ranch where she worked as a bookkeeper and manager from 2009 to 2012, according to a news report.

Carmichael worked for the Bear Mountain Ranch in northwestern Colorado, which provides vacation lodging and hunting excursions in the Rocky Mountains. She pleaded guilty to one count of criminal attempt to commit theft and will be sentenced on May 19. Her plea agreement includes five years of supervised probation, $120,000 in restitution and 400 hours of community service. She may also be sentenced to up to 90 day in jail.

Carmichael, who previously went by the last names of Faeth and Smith, was fired in October 2004 from her job as executive director of the City of Fort Worth’s Crime Prevention Resource Center. At the time, she was accused of misusing city funds after an internal investigation revealed that she charged almost $15,000 to the program’s credit card for personal items, including clothing and alcohol.

According to court records, Carmichael began working for the Bear Mountain Ranch in 2006. In 2009, she formed a meat sales company with her employers called Bear Mountain Bison. Her employers became suspicious in 2012 when a $50,000 check written to them from the meat business bounced. An internal investigation showed that Carmichael had allegedly opened a credit card account paid for by the ranch without their consent.

The ranch owners alleged that between 2009 and 2012, Carmichael used ranch credit cards to pay for vacations, groceries and other personal items. They also alleged that she skimmed cash from the business’ cash deposits and manipulated the meat company’s financial records to cover her unauthorized spending.

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