TOYAH (December 3, 2012)—Bartolo Sanchez, the mayor of Toyah, a West Texas town of about 100 people, has been charged in the theft nearly $300,000 in a forged signature scheme.
Sanchez faces federal charges of bank fraud, wire fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft.
Sanchez was arrested Friday.
He's been mayor since 2006.
Investigators say Sanchez, without knowledge of the Toyah City Council, in 2009 signed a $228,000 settlement with natural gas exploration company Chesapeake Operating Inc.
The money was intended to fix streets damaged by Chesapeake vehicles.
Investigators say Sanchez created a bank account and wrote checks to himself from that town fund and others.
He’s accused of forging a required second signature.