SAN ANGELO, TX – A San Angelo man has been sued in federal court by Vestas American Wind Technology, Inc. for allegedly stealing $600,000 over ten years by using his company credit card.
According to the suit filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas – San Angelo division, Arturo Salazar, III is named as the defendant in the civil suit which seeks compensation of $600,000, damages, interest and attorneys fees.
Court documents allege Salazar created fake companies BT Machine and Salazar Living Solutions, LLC, along with Keith Krier to defraud Vestas out of the money by sending fake invoices monthly and paying them with his company credit card. Vestas alleges Salazar would invoice the company under $2,000 per month which he was authorized to pay. Invoices over $2,000 required additional approval.
Salazar was a site supervisor for Vestas who had a company credit card and had addition employees under his supervision who also had Vestas credit cards.
Salazar allegedly setup BT Machine and registered the shell company with the Better Business Bureau. BT Machine had a business address in Snyder at a residence that was owned by Salazar.
BT Machine had a Square or PayPal account. Salazar would create fake invoices via these online services from BT Machine and then pay them using his company issued Vestas credit card.
The suit alleges Salazar also purchased a trailer, construction equipment, ATV's and other items for personal use using his Vestas credit card.
Vestas uncovered the on-going theft in Oct. 2019. Salazar was confronted by company representatives and lied about the purchases. Salazar allegedly took a job at another company and submitted his resignation the same month. Vestas rejected his resignation and fired him Oct. 18.
Salazar then setup Salazar Living Solutions, LLC and began transferring funds from BT Machine to the new Texas-based Limited Licensed Corporation.
The suit seeks to recover funds from SLS and pierce its corporate veil because Vestas claims the company was formed for the explicit intent of accepting the stolen cash as a separate legal entity. The suit says Salazar was using the SLS to transfer assets out of his name so that Vestas couldn't reclaim the amounts Salazar stole.
The federal lawsuit also demands a trial by jury.
Vestas designs, manufactures, installs, and services wind turbines across the globe, and with more than 108 GW of wind turbines in 80 countries, we have installed more wind power than anyone else. The company has 25,000 employees. The company services wind farms around the globe, including three large projects near Big Spring and Garden City.