Stratford treasurer indicted on charges of stealing from homeowners association


A Columbia County grand jury has indicted the former treasurer of an Evans neighborhood association on felony theft charges after she was accused in May of stealing more than a quarter-million dollars from the organization.


Laurie Wainwright Vanover, 46, of Andover Court, faces 10 counts of theft by taking, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.

Vanover is accused of stealing more than $267,000 from Stratford Community Association between February 2008 and December 2012, when she was serving as treasurer of the organization.

Vanover surrendered to authorities May 7 and was charged with financial transaction card fraud, computer theft, theft by taking and theft by conversion. She was released from the Columbia County Detention Center after posting a $40,400 bond.

The subdivision, off Hardy McManus Road, has 491 homes. The association is responsible for maintenance of a community pool and common areas, including an activity field and greenspace park.

Association President Tom Gorta first reported to police Dec. 19 that money was missing from the account, and investigators initially estimated that about $192,000 was missing.

During the nearly five-month investigation, Vanover cooperated with authorities. She is accused of using an ATM card to withdraw money from association accounts, cashing checks from the accounts, misusing an association debit card and paying personal debts with association money, according to the indictment.

Vanover is a licensed real estate agent previously associated with various local agencies but is not currently employed. She served on the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau but was not reappointed in January when her term expired as the case was under investigation.

In another case, the grand jury indicted Vanessa Robin Waldron, 53, an employee of Augusta-based Lawyers Abstract Co., for two counts of stealing or altering public documents and one count of making false statements or writings, according to the indictment.

Clerk of Court Cindy Mason called authorities June 13 after Waldron brought to her attention that four pages were missing from indexes to grantor books that contain index cards used to guide researchers to original property documents.

Mason offered to share video surveillance footage of the area with investigators, who arrested Waldron on June 14.

Ex-treasurer charged with $267,000 theft
Evans treasurer charged in missing $250,000
Still no charges in missing Stratford funds
Treasurer questioned in theft of thousands from Evans homeowners association
Authorities investigating thousands missing from Evans homeowners association


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