Durango’s Restaurant warns other businesses to be careful after a manager said the business lost more than $15,000 to fraud. Lubbock police are still investigating the case.

In a police report filed by the restaurant, employees said a former manager, and close friend, stole money from them for months, dating back to October.

“I went and got all the bank statements for the past few months, start looking at them, start comparing the check numbers. Sure enough, there is so many that I can’t believe the bank didn’t catch it at first,” said Sabina Astorga, manager of Durango’s and married to the co-owner of the restaurant.

“For other businesses, especially family businesses, it’s kind of hard. Keep it professional. Don’t ever let your guard down,” she said. 

Because of the lost money, Astorga said they have had to overcome many financial issues.

“He offered to pay it little by little. But just all the stuff I had to go through with vendors — us not getting paid, employees not getting paid for a while because everything fell behind — just a chain reaction. The state putting hold on our bank account. We weren’t able to make payments,” she said.

Employees who stayed with the restaurant during this crisis also felt the financial burden.

“It has a big effect on us. Not getting a pay check, not being able to pay our bills: That’s something that really hurts us,” said Isabel Barrera, a waitress at Durango’s. 

The co-owners will press charges against their former employee, Astorga said.

If you would like to support the business during this time, Astorga said dining at the restaurant is the best way to do that. They also have a GoFundMe page.