Police find, arrest attorney accused of embezzling

Cody Kelley
Albuquerque attorney Cody Kelley was silent as police led him to a holding facility downtown.

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE)- A lawyer who’s been on the run for nearly three weeks was caught and taken into custody. He’s wanted for stealing more than $100,000 from one of his clients. APD says they worked alongside the Secret Service to track this guy down, even then, they say it wasn’t easy.

Albuquerque attorney Cody Kelley was silent as police led him to a holding facility downtown. It took law enforcement nearly three weeks to find him. He was found in the Four Hills area in southeast Albuquerque, Thursday.

Kelley’s accused of embezzling around $130,000 from a client who won the money in a lawsuit.

“This stemmed from a judgment against the City of Gallup,” said Albuquerque Police Department Public Information Officer Tanner Tixier.

APD says he spent all that money in just three months. They issued a felony warrant at the end of August to take Kelley in, but he was no where to be found.

“It was just him playing hide and seek, basically, and we ended up winning that game,” says Tixier.

Tixier says he went off the grid, cutting all ties with friends, family and coworkers.

“He no longer went by his law office, the last check he cut his secretary bounced. She had no idea where he was. We contacted his parents, they were actually worried about him because they legitimately didn’t know where he was. We survielled his girlfriend’s house in Rio Rancho, we were unable to locate him there,” explains Tixier.

APD’s white collar crime unit teamed up with the United States Secret Service to try to track Kelley down. They say the Secret Service got involved because of the amount of money Kelley’s accused of taking and because of possible issues with jurisdiction.

“With the disbursements coming from the City of Gallup,” says Tixier.

APD says Kelley was taken in without a fight. Because he’s accused of embezzling more than $20,000, this is a felony charge. APD says he could go away for a minimum of one year and a maximum of five.

Police say they will ask the DA for a high bond but it will ultimately be up to the judge to decide.

This is not the first time Kelley’s been in trouble. He resigned from the New Mexico Lottery Authority in 2006 after he was charged with aggravated DWI and leaving the scene of a crash.

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