Treasurer questioned in theft of thousands from Evans homeowners association

Authorities are investigating the treasurer of Stratford Community Association in connection with the theft of nearly $200,000 from the Evans homeowners association bank account.


Laurie Wainwright Vanover is cooperating with Columbia County Sheriff’s Office investigators, and charges against her are pending, sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said Thursday.

Vanover, a real estate agent, also was a member of the board of directors of the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Thomas Gorta, the president of the homeowners association, told investigators Dec. 19 that he discovered more than $192,000 to be missing from the account, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.

Morris said Wednesday that investigators are reviewing all financial records connected with the homeowners association.

Gorta said he was advised not to speak publicly about the incident Wednesday and wouldn’t comment further.

He told authorities that unauthorized transactions were first made on the account on Nov. 5, 2008.

Transactions totaling $192,018 occurred through Dec. 19.

An estimated $78,497 was used for credit purchases, and $113,521 was withdrawn from ATMs, according to the report.

Vanover is the only person with access to the transaction cards and checks for the accounts, it was reported.

Gorta said the subdivision off Hardy McManus Road has 491 homes.

The homeowners association is responsible for maintenance of a community pool and common areas including an activity field and greenspace park.

Authorities investigating thousands missing from Evans homeowners association