By Melinda Munson

Jose de Jesus Orozco Santos, formerly the general manager of Hunz and Hunz Enterprises, was arrested on March 10 in the Juneau Airport on two counts of Theft in the Second Degree.

According to court documents, Orozco is accused of defrauding an elderly resident who hired the construction company to do work around her seasonal property in September 2019.

Orozco Santos estimated the job would cost $13,997.81. He finished the work in December 2019, then made several trips to Mexico where his wife resides. 

When Hunz and Hunz contacted the client for late payment, the woman said Orozco Santos told her to pay him directly. She sent him a cashier’s check in the amount of $15,000, approximately $1,000 above the estimated cost. She said Orozco Santos then told her she owed additional funds. The woman sent another cashier’s check, this time in the amount of $5,000 to a relative of Orozco Santos.

On Feb. 16, Hunz and Hunz notified the state police of the discrepancies. When Orozco Santos contacted Hunz and Hunz for financial assistance to return to Skagway, the company used mileage points to obtain a plane ticket for the employee. State troopers arrested Orozco Santos when he arrived in Juneau.

The Skagway Police were not involved in the matter.

“That case did not come to us,” said Acting Police Chief Jerry Reddick.

Had the complaint been made to the Skagway Police, Reddick said, “I probably would have referred it to the state,” as an officer on the force is related to the owners of Hunz and Hunz.

The defendant was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 8, which was vacated. A status hearing is set for June 9. Orozco Santos was appointed a public defender and is being held on $2,500 bail.

Hunz and Hunz did not respond to The Skagway News by deadline.