By Jared Jacang Maher, FACE THE STATE
The criminal investigation into possible financial fraud at the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority has been widened to include at least two additional individuals whom authorities suspect were involved in the illegal transfer of roughly $250,000 in funds earlier this year.
The Denver District Attorney’s office has filed search warrants seeking access to the banking records of Zerak Shepard and Marcus Harmon. State business filings show Shepard as the registered agent for All in One Insurance, an Aurora-based company that authorities believe received tens-of-thousands of dollars in payments from CHFA. Investigators are also examining Aurora real estate broker Yvette Marshall, who received unauthorized escrow account payments from CHFA through her company, Marshally Property Management.The address Marshall listed for the company in state records is for an Aurora home that is owned by former CHFA employee Melissa DeHerrera.
Sources familiar with the investigation say DeHerrera, once a Customer Relationship Liaison for the state-sponsored organization, is suspected of making unauthorized electronic transfers from real estate escrow accounts to several Aurora businesses throughout March and April. DeHerrera was fired from the position on May 26.
Additionally, records show that DeHerrera’s supervisor in the commercial loan servicing division, James Neill, resigned last month after 14 years with the organization. CHFA spokesperson Rachel Bayse says she cannot comment on Neill’s departure because it is a personnel matter but adds that “the investigation showed that there was no indication he’d been involved in any wrongdoing.” Bayse says that all funds improperly transferred from client escrow accounts have been paid back by CHFA, which has a insurance liability claim pending.
Neither Neill nor DeHerrera could not be reached for comment. In a phone interview with Face the State in June, Marshall insisted she was not acquainted with DeHerrera or Shepard.
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