When trust is misplaced
December 20, 2005
SILVERTHORNE – When District Attorney Mark Hurlbert prosecutes an employee theft case, he generally isn’t pushing for the judge to lock up the defendant for any significant period of time.Instead, he focuses on winning a felony conviction, probation and restitution. Although prison time can be a possible punishment – particularly with someone who’s been through the courts for a similar situation – even a county jail sentence more than 90 days is rare, Hurlbert said.”Our main goal in a lot of these cases is to get the victims paid back,” Hurlbert said.Hurlbert’s 5th Judicial District office is currently prosecuting two cases in Summit County – one involving a repeat offender in Breckenridge, and the other is against David Lantz, a 47-year-old former Fairplay resident who is accused of taking more than $200,000 from his Silverthorne employer over a nearly three-year period.Lantz was hired as the accountant for Kaupas Water Labs in Silverthorne in June 2002. According to the arrest affidavit, Lantz allegedly began siphoning money about six months after he began working for the small company. He’s charged with taking approximately $230,000 by writing pre-signed checks to himself, using company credit cards to transfer money into personal accounts and making personal payments from the company’s bank accounts, according to court documents.Ed Kaupas, the business’ owner, discovered the accounting discrepancies when Lantz was on vacation, and immediately went to the police, documents said.