A former Aspen city councilman and mayoral candidate allegedly stole and sold more than $2.4 million worth of skis, snowboards and other goods while working as an Aspen Skiing Co. executive for 17 years, according to court documents, reports the Aspen Times.
Derek Johnson, 51, and his wife, Kerri Johnson, 48, were charged Monday with theft of more than $1 million, a felony on par with attempted murder, and could each be facing up to 24-years in jail. Derek was fired by Skico in the wake of the theft allegations and is currently working as a delivery driver for an Aspen restaurant to support his wife and family.
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Johnson helped found the D&E Snowboard Shop and sold it to Skico in 2001 when he was kept on as managing director of the company’s retail-rental division. Skico fired Johnson in December, calling the situation “tragic” and “very painful and personal,” though company officials declined to comment further. Johnson, at the time, said his firing was “a private employment matter” and also refused to comment further.
An anonymous tip to Skico’s human resources department last November lead to police intervention, and spreadsheets found on Johnson’s computer at his home showed that between 2010 and 2018, he and his wife listed $2.15 million in total sales from the eBay account called “sportandski“. Police also found more than $224,000 worth of skis and snowboards in a storage unit rented by the Johnsons, gear that was returned to Skico officials. Finally, the icing on the cake, the couple also billed Skico nearly $42,000 since November 2015 for ski boxes they used to send the allegedly stolen Skico skis to their eBay customers.
That is a total of $2.41 million in alleged theft, according to the Johnsons’ arrest warrant affidavits.