Talon News - Good Local News

EMBEZZLEMENT AT SJC

 

January 11, 2019



TALON staff

Former San Juan College (SJC) instructors Steven Gerenscer 49, and Daniel Uhl 64, were arrested January 2, and charged with 32 counts of fraud and embezzlement for allegedly misappropriating over $200,000. According to a recent press release San Juan County Sheriff's Detectives accuse the pair of, "intentionally misappropriating funds belonging to the San Juan School of Energy." The charges stem from an alleged scam in which the two instructors used their affiliation with San Juan College to solicit training to energy companies to teach WellCAP and WellSharp classes. According to the 30 page Affidavit for Arrest Warrant filed on January 2, WellCAP certificates were issued to 133 people SJC had no record of. The certificates include a unique number and were affixed with SJC logo and listed the college as the training provider. The affidavit lists at least nine energy companies that were affected by the alleged scam, including local companies, Drake Well Service of Farmington and Elite Swabbing, Aztec.

For many years SJC has offered WellCAP and WellSHARP classes accredited by the International Association of Drilling Contractors. The SJC School of Energy charges $750 for the course.

SJC became aware of a problem in March, 2018 when Uhl failed to show up to teach a scheduled class. The college found out Uhl was teaching a class at SRC Energy in Greeley Colorado the week of March 13, 2018 but the college was not aware of any scheduled training at that time or at that location.

San Juan County Sheriff's Office Detective Katie Robbins reported in the affidavit, her investigation revealed a check issued by SRC Energy for $15,750.00 made out to Four Corners Well Control dated April 18, 2018. Further investigation discovered Gerenscer and Uhl had been allegedly funneling the money they received through an apparent 'shell company' they had created and named, Four Corners Well Control LLC.

In a statement released to TALON by Rhonda Schaefer, director of marketing and public relations SJC said: San Juan College became aware of discrepancies in the College's well control program in March, 2018. In accordance with the College's legal requirements, the matter was reported to law enforcement and the office of the State Auditor. The College has been cooperating with law enforcement's investigation into this matter.

Gerenscer and Uhl were arrested and booked into San Juan County Detention Center on January 2, and released on their own recognizance on January 3. Gerenscer and Uhl are scheduled to appear in Aztec Magistrate Court on January 16, before Judge Barry Sharrer. Eric Morrow Esq, is listed as the attorney for both men.

 

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