Federal agents plucked two diamond rings off the finger of one Albuquerque woman last month.
Her husband, Joshua Cordova, is suspected of fraudulently purchasing those rings and tens of thousands of dollars in other items using credit cards issued to him by Sandia National Laboratories for work-related purchases.
According to search warrant applications executed Dec. 18 at three locations, Cordova used cards to buy more than $150,000 worth of items from Amazon. At least another $18,000 was spent at Home Depot.
In addition to the two rings – valued at $4,300 – agents also seized a $2,000 refrigerator, a washer and dryer, four professional barber chairs, a trampoline, home theater equipment and a gaming table.
Cordova fraudulently described these items in Sandia documents as things like tripods, Bosch power tools and power cords, a federal agent wrote.
Cordova, reached by phone on Friday, declined to comment.
He has not been charged.
Cordova was an employee of Sandia’s Advanced Field Operations and Robotics division, and had top secret clearance, according to the search warrant application.
Sandia spokeswoman Heather Clark said possible suspicious activity on Cordova’s credit card was discovered in September and the matter was subsequently turned over to federal investigators.
Clark said the labs accepted Cordova’s resignation Thursday and he no longer has access to the facilities.
“Sandia Labs takes stewardship of taxpayer money very seriously and we always do our utmost to ensure that our federal funds are spent properly,” Clark said. She noted that the labs are fully cooperating with the investigation.
Sandia does not believe Cordova’s wife, also employed at the labs, was involved in the alleged crimes.