Denver jury finds Colorado man guilty in $1.5M theft from charities

A Denver jury on Friday found a Castle Rock man guilty of stealing more than $1 million from two charities that he worked for as treasurer, court records show.

Bill Schwartz, 45, was convicted of two counts of felony theft after a week-long jury trial in Denver District Court. A single count of money laundering was dismissed by the judge, court records show.

Schwartz faces between eight and 24 years in prison on the most serious felony conviction and between four and 12 years in prison on the lesser theft charge. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 18.

Schwartz stole money from the Order of Quetzalcoatl, a nonprofit organization that exists to raise money for Shriners Hospitals for Children, a system of nonprofit hospitals associated with The Shrine, a fraternity made up of masons, according to a lawsuit the Order filed against Schwartz. The indictment didn’t identify the second charity.

Schwartz used $90,000 of the Order’s money to pay his personal credit card bills, among other misuse, the lawsuit claimed. Filed in August, the lawsuit was put on hold in December until the criminal case against Schwartz was resolved, with both sides agreeing that to continue the discovery process while the criminal case was ongoing would jeopardize Schwartz’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, court records show.

Schwartz was convicted of one count of the theft of at least $1 million as well as a second count of theft of between $100,000 and $1 million. Authorities have previously said he stole just over $1.5 million from two charitable organizations.

Schwartz’s attorneys did not return requests for comment Tuesday, and a spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

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