Man accused of stealing $12K meant for friend dying of cancer

Posted at 12:16 PM, Aug 29, 2017

DENVER – A man who was about to set off on a cross-country cycling trip had his plans disrupted by U.S. Marshals Friday.

Marshals arrested Scott Kesterson, 52, in Billings, Mont. after the Denver District Attorney’s Office accused him of stealing $12,000 in donations he allegedly solicited for a friend and business associate dying of cancer.

According to the DA's office, between October 2013 and February 2014 Kesterson started a donation fund and solicited contributions for a Denver attorney, Kelly de la Torre, who was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in late November 2013.

Rather than give the $12,000 in donations to Mrs. de la Torre’s family, Kesterson allegedly used the money for his own purposes.

Court records show he used the donations for "credit card payments, ATM withdrawals, Costco purchases, and Federal Express purchases." Then, on July 24, 2014 a check cleared for more than $1,500 "with the words rent" "in the memo line."

"It's very humiliating to me still, it still kills me. These people went out of their way in my wife's name," her husband, Jorge de la Torre, said.

The DA's Office said nearly 80 people donated the money.

"That's the lowest of the low in my opinion," said Jorge.

Kesterson is facing two felony charges of theft and computer crime. He was picked up in Montana on an at-large warrant issued the same day.

There is no timetable yet as to when Kesterson will be extradited to Denver.