AG Balderas Announces Indictment of Former Congregation Albert Employee

For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2022
Contact: Jerri Mares – (505) 321-4372

ALBUQUERQUE — Today, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announces the filing of an indictment against Crystal Lucero, a former employee of Congregation Albert Synagogue. Congregation Albert Synagogue, established in 1897, is the oldest Jewish organization of continued existence in New Mexico. Today’s indictment contains nine counts, including forgery, larceny, and embezzlement.

“Nonprofit organizations like synagogues, rely on trusted employees for much of their financial management and oversight, and it is a tragedy that someone would exploit this vulnerable organization for personal gain,” said Attorney General Balderas.

Lucero is alleged to have used her position as a former administrative employee at Congregation Albert to write unauthorized checks to herself and make unauthorized purchases with Congregation Albert funds. Between 2016 and 2019 Lucero is alleged to have taken over $700,000 from the Congregation without permission. Lucero resigned from her position in June 2019.

The case was investigated by the NM Office of the Attorney General Special Investigations Unit and New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Andrew Coffing. Although Lucero has been charged, she is presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial.

A copy of the indictment is linked below.