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Authorities investigating thousands missing from Evans homeowners association

Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 11:59 AM
Last updated 11:01 PM
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Columbia County authorities are investigating a report that nearly $200,000 is missing from an Evans
homeowners association fund during a four-year
period.

Thomas Gorta, the president of the Stratford Community Association, told investigators Dec. 19 that he discovered that more than $192,000 was missing from the association’s bank account, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said Wednesday that investigators are reviewing the association’s financial records, and Gorta said he was advised not to discuss the incident.

According to the sheriff’s report, he said unauthorized transactions were first made on the association’s bank account 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 An estimated $78,497 was used for credit purchases and $113,521 was withdrawn from ATMs, according to the report.

The association treasurer is the only person with access to the transaction cards and checks for the accounts.

Gorta said 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.

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benchstock
17
Points
benchstock 01/02/13 - 01:57 pm
7
0
Balance the Checkbook?

“According to the sheriff’s report, he said unauthorized transactions were first made on the association’s bank account on Nov. 5, 2008” Mr. Gorta asleep at the wheel?

oneofthesane
2201
Points
oneofthesane 01/02/13 - 02:59 pm
7
1
Okkkkk......
Unpublished

I have a pool and a "common area". Granted, its only one home, but sounds like the HOA rates need to go down a whole lot since there is enough to thieve. Ohhh.....wait, its Evans. Nevermind.

MarinerMan
2107
Points
MarinerMan 01/02/13 - 04:27 pm
9
0
Waited Long Enough
Unpublished

This is an older story here. If ONLY the Treasurer has access, who in the "heck" is the Treasurer ?? How about a NAME ??!! Why beat around the bush like this ??

rotahog
9
Points
rotahog 01/02/13 - 05:44 pm
7
0
STRATFORD COOKIE JAR

http://stratfordevans.net/index.php?option=com_contact&view=category&cat...

LAURIE VANOVER is listed as Treasurer HOA and has held that position for years.... won't take Sherlock Holmes to figure this one out..

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 01/02/13 - 06:14 pm
0
0
CC website shows Vanover's have had some
Unpublished

financial woes. Lawsuit and or bankruptcy? Some title changes. Some definite devaluation issues. And they are near the sewage treatment plant.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 01/02/13 - 08:03 pm
5
0
The Homeowner Board and/or The Homeowner Board Treasurer

were NOT doing theirs jobs for 3 years????

or .............. DYOC.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 01/02/13 - 08:52 pm
0
0
They didn't give the
Unpublished

They didn't give the treasurer's name because it's an on-going investigation and if you're not the investigator it's not your business as of yet.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 01/02/13 - 09:46 pm
7
0
Require an annual audited report

Yet another reason I don't like HOA's. No one's overseeing; few people really get involved.

All HOA's are required to make an annual report to the homeowners accounting for every penny received, and every authorized expenditure.

Bad business practices for requiring only one signature on checks, and the same person in charge of balancing the bank statements. This is an open invitation to pilfering that any high school student should understand.

Any neighborhood with a large number of homes should have their account handled by an accounting firm, not one of the neighbors.

I completely agree with the commenter who said, if the loss of 200k can go unnoticed for three years; they are collecting far too much money from the homeowners.

I'll bet the attendance goes up for the next meeting.

allhans
23688
Points
allhans 01/02/13 - 10:26 pm
8
0
I served for several years as

I served for several years as treasurer for FHTA...I was required to furnish a financial statement to each member at the monthly meetings. All checks were co-signed by the president. I wrote them out, submittted them to him along with an invoice approved by the secretary...he then signed them...We followed the same system for years, never heard of any shortage taking place.
It takes a little work..that's all.

JRC2024
8888
Points
JRC2024 01/03/13 - 09:49 am
0
3
FHTA??

FHTA??

MarinerMan
2107
Points
MarinerMan 01/03/13 - 10:30 am
1
0
Vanover House Soon on the Market ?
Unpublished

Does this mean the Vanover house may soon be on the market ? This kind of thing does happen -- remember Windmill Plantation ?

allhans
23688
Points
allhans 01/03/13 - 11:09 am
1
0
JRC2024 .... Forest

JRC2024 .... Forest Hills.......

corgimom
32616
Points
corgimom 01/05/13 - 06:42 pm
0
0
It happened because people

It happened because people trusted her and she had access to the bank statements and she "balanced" the books.

This happens all the time, I guess people just never learn. Usually it gets found out when finally, at long last, they drain the account and a check bounces.

Maybe she's relieved that it's finally over.

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