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☛ American Horse Council sues former employee for embezzlement 10-10-18





Oct. 10, 2018

According to an article in the Denver Post, dated Sept. 26, the American Horse Council (AHC) filed a federal civil lawsuit against a former employee, accused of embezzling nearly $600,000 in what they called a carefully planned criminal enterprise.


Filed in U. S. District Court for the District of Colorado, the lawsuit, filed Sept. 25,  says that former employee Ashley Furst stole at least $588,061 and attempted to cover up her actions by hiding information from management by falsifying bank statements and payroll documents, as well as applying for an unauthorized loan intended to replenish stolen funds.


The Denver Post stated that Furst and her husband Christopher Furst are co-defendants in the lawsuit that says that Ashley Furst was fired June 25 on suspicion of theft and fraud. The AHC then reported the activity to law enforcement and the FBI has opened a criminal investigation.


The lawsuit filing reported that the AHC hired Ashley Furst in January 2010 as an office administrator. She had administrative duties that expanded over time until she was promoted to director of communications. In 2017, she was approved to move to Highlands Ranch, Colo., and telecommute for work.


In the lawsuit, AHC alleged that Furst used at least five schemes to steal from the organization from 2013 into this year, including making direct electronic payments from AHC for her personal loans and credit cards; writing checks from the AHC’s operating account to herself by using forged signatures to hide the payments; transferring money from an AHC Pay Pal Account into her own account; directing AHC’s payroll company to increase her salary while falsifying W-2s to hide the increase and applying for a loan in the AHC’s name in an effort that the AHC says was intended to replenish  stolen funds.


Since AHC policy requires two signatures for checks, they allege Furst forged signatures to meet that requirement. However, the AHC became aware there was a problem when a check issued to a consultant bounced.  When they met with representatives from the bank, they discovered their bank statements didn’t match those maintained by the bank.


Court documents allege that the Fursts used the money to “help purchase or lease two cars valued at $96,050 and purchase a $630,500 home in Highlands Ranch.”


According to the American Horse Council, they are a trusted voice for the horse industry to the public and to government authorities. They synthesize and promote consensus-based AHC legislative and regulatory objectives.


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