Keyser signature collector arrested for forgery

Maureen Moss, the woman who allegedly forged petition signatures that helped U.S. Senate Republican candidate Jon Keyser get onto the June 28 primary ballot, is now facing almost three dozen felony charges tied to those forgeries. She was arrested shortly before noon Wednesday at her Aurora home.

A date for her arraignment has not yet been determined, according to Sarah Masterson with the Denver District Attorney’s office.

An affidavit for her arrest, filed Tuesday by Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, claims Moss was hired by Black Diamond Outreach to collect petition signatures, and turned in 34 forged signatures. That includes one signature that, according to the Secretary of State, was from a deceased voter from Broomfield. According to a published report, Judy De Santis died January 25, but her signature on the Keyser petition is dated February 28.

Black Diamond fired Moss on May 11, after KMGH reporter Marshall Zelinger uncovered the first batch of allegedly forged signatures.

Moss also collected signatures on behalf of Black Diamond for a ballot measure to allow the sale of full-strength beer and wine in grocery stores in Colorado. Those signatures have been set aside by Black Diamond and they don’t intend to turn them in, according to Steve Adams of Black Diamond. And Moss brought in another 33 petition signatures for Jim Smallwood, a Republican candidate for Colorado Senate District 4. That work was done for another company, Equinox Strategies.

The affidavit issued yesterday for her arrest said Moss was hired by Black Diamond in February and collected petition signatures in February and March for the Keyser campaign. The affidavit said the company began raising questions about some of her signatures in mid-March. She was warned about the consequences of turning in fraudulent signatures. Black Diamond employees questioned Moss several times about signatures, but she repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. The affidavit said Moss did not cooperate with investigators from the Denver District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Unit.

The signatures came from residences in Denver, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties, but the criminal case is being handled by the Denver District Attorney in cooperation with the other counties because the Secretary of State’s office is in Denver.

Each of the felony fraud charges carries possible jail time of between one and three years and/or and a fine of $1,000 to $100,000 per count.

Moss has three previous felony convictions, according to KUSA, including a forgery charge related to the illegal use of a family member’s credit card.

Black Diamond was aware of her criminal record but hired her anyway, the KUSA report said.

Photo credit: Garry Knight, Creative Commons, Flickr

has been a political journalist since 1998. She covered the state capitol for the Silver & Gold Record from 1998 to 2009 and for The Colorado Statesman in 2010-11 and 2013-14. Since 2010 she also has covered the General Assembly for newspapers in northeastern Colorado. She was recognized with awards from the Colorado Press Association for feature writing and informational graphics for her work with the Statesman in 2012.