A former show director of the O.K. Corral has been indicted by a grand jury nearly three years after the Tombstone Marshal’s Office began investigating what was initially believed to be the theft of a few thousand dollars but quickly grew in scope to nearly $185,000.
Timothy Wayne Fattig was arraigned last week on felony charges of money laundering, theft, and two counts of fraudulent schemes. He has been ordered by Presiding Judge Timothy Dickerson to return to Cochise County Superior Court on April 5 for a trial setting hearing.
Fattig, 44, became the O.K. Corral’s show director in 2014 after working for parent company Tombstone Historama Corporation for several years. He was terminated in February 2018 after Robert Love, company president, initiated a series of sting operations to determine why revenues were far short of expected ticket sales during the busy tourist season.
A March 7, 2018 statement issued by then-Marshal Bob Randall noted Fattig admitted to investigators the day before to stealing $4,000 to $5,000 over an 18-month period. However, the TMO investigation quickly identified dozens of transactions dating back to January 2017 in which Fattig appeared to have embezzled at least $185,000.
The matter was eventually referred to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office due to the scope of the additional examination needed going back to 2014. In the meantime, Tombstone Historama filed a lawsuit in May 2018 against Fatting seeking a civil judgment for financial damages.
Love testified in an April 2019 hearing in Dickerson’s courtroom that he began to suspect something was awry with revenues in late 2017. Then in early 2018 he came to believe Fattig was underreporting ticket sales, which allowed cash to be removed from the register.
In February 2018, Love enlisted the help of a trusted employee to surreptitiously count ticket stubs following several shows. Revenues for one show appeared to have been underreported by 45 ticket stubs, or $450. Another sting revealed the underreporting of 84 ticket stubs for a loss to the company of $840.
Fattig did not file a formal answer to the lawsuit nor did he appear for the hearing. Love testified he later received an apology letter from Fattig via email.
Fattig’s bank records played an integral part in the civil case and are expected to be key evidence in the criminal prosecution. A forensic accountant testified in the civil case that those bank records showed regular ATM cash deposits into Fattig’s account unrelated to the timing or amount of his paychecks.
The cash deposits ended when Fattig was fired, and amounted to $481,063 from 2014 to February 2018. The account also testified that neither he nor investigators could identify any other source of other income or financial resources Fattig had access to.
Dickerson also heard testimony of a $14,000 cash loan Fattig made to a co-worker who was buying a house. Fattig took no action to collect on the co-worker’s loan or claim the debt as his own, so the judge added the $14,000 to the ATM deposits for total damages of $495,063.
Court records show the employee is voluntarily repaying that loan directly to Tombstone Historama. However, Fattig has made no direct payments toward the judgment except for what has been ordered by the court to come out of his earnings.
The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office served Fattig with the indictment on Feb. 4 while working at the Oriental Saloon in Tombstone. He is out of custody on his own recognizance and is awaiting assignment of an attorney through Cochise County’s Indigent Defense program.