FARMINGTON — The Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau may recover less than $100,000 of the roughly $500,000 that Debbie Dusenbery embezzled.

Richard Gerding, a Farmington-based attorney representing the bureau, presented the city council with an update on what has been done to recover the funds.

After attorney's fees, expenses and payments to other creditors of Dusenbery's estate, the net assets delivered to the bureau could be as low as $60,000, he said.

Dusenbery, 41, was suspended as the visitors bureau's executive director in mid-January 2012 after allegations that she had embezzled taxpayer funds. She committed suicide in the Arizona desert about four weeks later.

The Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1984 to promote Farmington and the surrounding area for recreation, industrial and historic interest.

The bureau is funded by lodger's taxes — a tax imposed on the use of hotels, motels and other lodging — through a contract with the city.

The bureau has been filing claims through Gerding and suing for Dusenbery's assets.

Those assets appear to be limited.

There is an undisclosed amount of money remaining in Dusenbery's checking account, savings account, a $100,000 insurance policy, about $35,000 remaining in the value of her home, about $20,000 from the sale of her Jeep and a yet-to-be-sold trailer with a lien on it, Gerding said.


Dusenbery took out a certificate of credit on her home through Citizens Bank, he said. That mortgage payment is due back to the bank as well.

"We'll get everything left," he said.

Previous estimates had put the total amount of embezzled funds at around $500,000.

That amount now appears to be closer to $488,000, Gerding said.

A so-called financial "gray area" exists that could put the total amount of embezzled funds above the half-million dollar mark, said bureau executive director Tonya Stinson.

Mayor Tommy Roberts asked whether people who received trips and gifts from Dusenbery, purchased with the embezzled funds, should be contacted and asked to reimburse the bureau.

Contacting those who benefited from Dusenbery's embezzlement needs to be done, but it remains pessimistic that significant funds can be recovered, Roberts said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.

Gerding recommended that the city look into any other organizations that receive city funding.

"I think that advice needs to be heeded," Roberts said. "In fact, those kinds of measures have already been implemented at the (Convention and Visitors Bureau). The city manager will be looking at (other organization) to see whether those kinds of checks and balances are needed."

Greg Yee can be reached at; 505-564-4606. Follow him on Twitter @GYeeDT