Former Rodeo Austin financial manager indicted on felony theft charge

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(KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Former Rodeo Austin financial manager Mark Weston has been indicted in Travis County on a first-degree felony theft charge.

Weston has been accused of stealing more than $1 million from the Rodeo Austin, a nonprofit, according to court records.

KXAN reported in 2017 on the accusations against Weston. He signed a legal agreement that year admitting he used Rodeo Austin’s money for personal use, misappropriated funds and agreed to pay back $850,000. Rodeo Austin’s IRS tax filing that year showed the nonprofit was missing $1.3 million.

The felony charge — theft of property over $300,000 — could carry a sentence of up to 99 years in prison.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office arrested Weston on June 24, and, as of 4 p.m.  Tuesday, he was no longer listed as an inmate in the jail, according to county records.

“This theft occurred several years ago, and Rodeo Austin has fully recovered financially and as an organization,” Rodeo Austin said in a prepared statement Tuesday. “We are glad the Travis County District Attorney’s office is moving forward with prosecuting this crime.”

In addition to putting on a rodeo, livestock show and concerts, Rodeo Austin operates a college and university scholarship program. In 2017, Rodeo Austin told KXAN the theft had affected its cash reserves and ability to do new events and take on new challenges.

In a 2017 written statement to KXAN, Weston’s attorney said his client suffered from Parkinson’s disease and was prescribed repinirole, a drug that caused obsessive-compulsive disorder and led to uncontrollable spending. The attorney said Weston, with his extensive understanding of accounting, could have hidden the theft of funds. “Yet, all he did was in the open that any first year accountant could have easily discovered,” according to the statement.

The Texas Board of Public Accountancy received a complaint against Weston in 2017 and revoked his license in May of 2018, citing “discreditable acts.”

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