SANTA FE (KRQE) – A Santa Fe business owner accused of defrauding taxpayers suddenly decided to plea right before her trial started Thursday.
Marlene Montoya and her husband own Advantage Asphalt. They are accused of stealing at least $1 million of taxpayer money by bribing public officials to give them big government contracts.
Both are also accused of doing work using county labor and county materials, but pocketing the rest of the cash.
Thursday during jury selection, Marlene decided to plead guilty to two counts of bribery of a public official and conspiracy to commit fraud.
As part of the agreement, Montoya faces up to nine years in prison but the state would agree to electronic monitoring and probation.
Montoya’s husband is still headed for trial.