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Former library employee arrested for six-figure theft

Released on Monday, June 13, 2022
Contact Information
  • Public Information Office, Fort Collins Police Services, 970-818-8950, fcpsmedia@fcgov.com

A former library employee has been arrested for using her work credit card to make more than $110,000 in personal purchases.

At the end of 2020, the Poudre River Public Library District conducted an audit of staff purchases for the previous year. Employees were instructed to reconcile any missing receipts by January 1, 2021. Outreach Services Manager Johanna Ulloa Giron did not complete this process, which prompted further investigation by the library’s human resource office. Staff initially identified $9,841.62 in personal purchases, which Ulloa Giron agreed to pay back. She voluntarily resigned her position with the library on March 1, 2021.

Library staff began an internal investigation to review Ulloa Giron’s expenses in previous years. In April 2021, they contacted Fort Collins Police to report additional unauthorized purchases, which included items like designer shoes, women’s clothing, cosmetics, personal electronics, vacation-related expenses, home goods, furniture, and toys shipped to Ulloa Giron’s house.

In addition to receipts, all employees are required to provide descriptions of business purchases and identify which programs they support. Staff and police investigators determined that several receipts had been intentionally altered to change purchase details. They also found that Ulloa Giron had assigned numerous expenses to non-existent programs, or programs that would have no legitimate use for the items purchased. Staff also confirmed that electronics and other high-dollar items had not been entered into the library’s inventory.

With the help of library staff, Fort Collins Police conducted a 13-month criminal investigation into the 2,224 purchases made on Ulloa Giron’s library procurement card between 2016 and 2020. They identified 1,267 unauthorized purchases totaling $110,464.59.

In June 2022, Fort Collins Police obtained an arrest warrant for Ulloa Giron, 42. She was booked into the Larimer County Jail on June 11 for Theft (class 3 felony), Unauthorized Use of a Financial Transaction Device (class 3 felony), Cybercrime (class 3 felony), and Second Degree Forgery (class 2 misdemeanor). She was issued a $50,000 cash/surety bond by the court.

“Our human resources team uncovered significant violations of library policy, and they took immediate action to ensure accountability,” said Diane Lapierre, Executive Director of the Poudre River Public Library District. “Libraries are a cornerstone of the community and a lifeline to information, education, and enjoyment for people of all ages and life circumstances. We remain committed to serving this mission and to improving the social, economic, educational, and cultural vitality of the people that we serve.”

Anyone with additional information about this case may contact Detective Allen Benbow at 970-416-2180.

“This money was intended to support kids in our community," said Chief Jeff Swoboda. "Resources for such programming are already scarce, and using them for personal gain shows a troubling disregard for the families who should have benefited from these funds."

All charges are simply an accusation by law enforcement, and all parties must be presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.