DENVER — A former Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) employee now faces criminal charges for allegedly stealing more than $770,000 from the agency over a nine-year period.
Aaron Victor Ceja, 48, is charged with two counts of theft, one count of money laundering and one count of embezzlement of public property, according to a news release from the Denver District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors said the alleged crimes happened between 2011 and 2020 while Ceja was working as a CDOT project manager. He is accused of making unauthorized purchases – including camping gear, gift cards and video equipment – using his state procurement card.
Ceja is also accused of submitting bogus invoices to CDOT through a company set up in a family member's name. According to prosecutors, investigators later determined that company was operated and controlled by Ceja.
A criminal investigation into Ceja’s actions began in August 2020, when a CDOT executive director asked the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for help looking into potential theft and misuse of funds by a former employee.
Ceja was arrested on Tuesday, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The date for his next court appearance is pending. As of July 1, Ceja was in custody at the Downtown Detention Center in Denver.
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