AURORA, Colo. -- Aurora Police are investigating a $300,000 deception between two coworkers.
Joann Murphy, 69, admits she gave Mark Stubbert $300,000 over four years, trusting his words that he was investing all of it to grow her retirement.
It wasn't until their boss at Barton Steel Supply in Aurora fired Stubbert that Murphy learned she'd been had and went to police.
"Everybody here at Barton thought that everything he touched turned to gold and I actually thought he was a multi-millionaire and I think the majority of the people here thought that he was a millionaire too," said Murphy.
Stubbert was the Sales Manager for Barton Steel in 2012, when he convinced his subordinate Joann Murphy to let him invest her retirement savings after her husband passed away.
"I said how much do you charge me and he said nothing because you`re a real nice person and I want to help you out and I said great," remembered Murphy.
The deception began with a promissory note after Murphy first gave Stubbert $130,000 expecting big returns. It grew to $300,000 in four years after Murphy said Stubbert told her he was investing in real estate deals and Apple.
Whenever Murphy asked for proof of her returns she said Mark put her off with smooth talking. Murphy said last March, Stubbert even convinced her to give him $20,000 from his hospital bed after he was admitted to Porter-Adventist Hospital for liver failure.
It was while Stubbert was in the hospital unable to fill out his payroll records, that the bosses at Barton Steel Supply tell FOX31 they took a closer look at Stubbert's commissions. They told the Problem Solvers they discovered massive payroll fraud.
But here's how Stubbert described it, "Miscalculations in the commission structure that I don`t understand how it happened. Accounting is definitely not my background."
Problem Solver Rob Low pressed Stubbert, "What you call miscalculations, Barton calls theft. (Stubbert) Yes, they do. (Rob Low) Bottom line, did you overpay yourself by $68,000 in the last 18-months? (Stubbert) If they say I did, then yes I did."
Barton Steel has chosen not to file criminal charges against Stubbert but it is supporting Joann Murphy's decision to go after Stubbert in both criminal and civil court, "We (at Barton Steel) consider and treat each other as we are family, we support one another and I thought that's how he was treating me," said a teary-eyed Murphy.
FOX31 asked Stubbert what he did with the money and he replied, "This last year a lot of it just got burnt through."
Stubbert said he paid off alimony to his first ex-wife, bought a truck and made mortgage payments on his house. He later put the home up for sale promising any profits to Joann though after our interview he was forced to take the home off the market because Joann put a lien on the property.
She's also won a default judgment against him for $964,000 to get her money plus interest and damages.
"I absolutely owe Joann the money. I will absolutely do everything in my power to make sure she gets paid," insisted Stubbert.
But his promise rings hallow with Joann. "When I found out everything he had told me before were lies, I don`t know if I can believe him now," said Murphy.
About the only thing Joann Murphy and her bosses at Barton Steel Supply believe out of Mark's mouth, after visiting him at the hospital, is that he does indeed suffer from liver failure.
Stubbert told FOX31 he'll need a liver transplant within five years but admits he could be in jail then.
Aurora police are still investigating and say it will be up to Adams County Prosecutors to decide if fraud charges are warranted.AlertMe