In the culmination of a year-long investigation by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Lovington Police Department, a Fort Worth man was arrested Thursday, Aug. 31 in Texas and charged with seven counts of embezzlement relating to the construction of the Lovington Trails apartment complex, located adjacent to Nor-Lea Hospital in the City of Lovington.
The complex comprises of 64 rental units and cost over $6 million to build.
Donald Ray Griffin, 69 of Fort Worth, is alleged to have embezzled around $442,351.28 from the developers of the project, as well as 18 other victims, some of them locally-owned businesses. Griffin acted as the general contractor for the project from July 2014-January 2016. It is alleged that he converted for his own personal use $442,351.28 of funds that had been released by the partners, which had been earmarked for payment to subcontractors.
Griffin was arrested on four counts of embezzlement, second-degree felonies; two count of embezzlement, third-degree felonies; and one count of embezzlement, a fourth-degree felony.
If convicted on all charges, Griffin faces a maximum possible sentence of forty-three and a half years in jail. The investigation was conducted using numerous accounting forensic analysis. Search warrants of bank and business records, as well as Griffin’s business offices and residence were executed.
The Lovington Police Department expresses its appreciation to the New Mexico Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office and Fort Worth Police Department who assisted in this investigation.