AZTEC — Shannon Strunk on Thursday morning pleaded "no-contest" to an embezzlement charge involving ABC Concrete and received probation.

Magistrate Judge Barry Sharer sentenced Strunk to 364 days in jail but suspended the sentence in favor of probation as a condition of her plea agreement.

Strunk already paid nearly $16,000 to ABC Concrete, a Farmington construction and property management business where Strunk used to work, said Deputy District Attorney Ron Brambl. Strunk was arrested in October on suspicion of stealing money from the business.

Doug and Waunita Murray, who own ABC Concrete, hired Strunk to collect rent deposits and manage the business office, Waunita said.

In September, Strunk took a week off work and Waunita Murray said she "saw things didn't make sense" and reported the missing money to the sheriff's office.

San Juan County Sheriff's Office Det. Katie Macsalka investigated the business' finances and found Strunk was accepting cash payments from tenants and then deleting that invoice from the financial records, according to court documents. The thefts lasted from March to September.

The Murrays and Strunk agreed she would pay the business $15,924 in restitution to resolve the case.

"We didn't recover everything but we are very thankful for what we got back," Waunita Murray said. "It's over and done with and I've learned a lesson. People can't be trusted.



Murray said the business — which she said has been operating in Farmington for 30 years — has rebounded from the incident.

She said she no longer accepts cash and handles financial transactions herself.

Murray said ABC Concrete hired Strunk because she worked closely with the business while Strunk was employed at New Mexico Title Co.

The title company collapsed in January 2012 amid complaints of missing money.

An arrest warrant for Bobby Willis, the former New Mexico Title owner, was issued in August. Willis is charged with second-degree felony embezzlement in connection to the missing funds.

Murray said Strunk handled several accounts the couple had at New Mexico Title. The Murrays didn't lose any money when the business collapsed because Strunk suggested the Murrays empty their accounts before the business closed, she said.