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Evans woman pleads not guilty in neighborhood association theft case

Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 8:07 PM
Last updated Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 2:00 AM
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The former treasurer of an Evans neighborhood association has pleaded not guilty to felony theft charges.

It was announced at a Friday arraignment hearing in Columbia County that Laurie Wainwright Vanover, 46, of Andover Court, pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of theft by taking on Thursday.

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

Vanover turned herself in to authorities May 7 and was released from the Columbia County Detention Center after posting a $40,400 bond. She was indicted last month.

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 park.

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

During the nearly five-month investigation that followed, 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 funds.

Comments (6) Add comment
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Riverman1
93489
Points
Riverman1 09/21/13 - 06:17 am
6
1
Strange

She cooperates with the investigators and tells them what she did with the money, yet pleads not guilty? Kind of strange. Insanity plea?

Dixieman
17305
Points
Dixieman 09/21/13 - 07:01 am
7
0
Not insanity

Not guilty plea gives her lawyer time to work out a plea bargain with prosecution. A guilty plea would have sent her off to jail right away with no negotiating leverage. 95%+ of all criminal cases start with a not guilty plea, followed by a plea bargain, followed by a change of the plea to guilty and the imposition of the negotiated penalty. Nothing unusual here.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 09/21/13 - 08:34 am
0
0
lowyers!
Unpublished

they abet criminals in flaunting the law.

jimmymac
47554
Points
jimmymac 09/21/13 - 08:55 am
0
0
DIXIEMAN
Unpublished

Thanks for the explanation. I was wondering the same thing about the innocent plea.

my.voice
5167
Points
my.voice 09/21/13 - 09:52 am
2
2
"Bargaining" Pleas should

"Bargaining" Pleas should have an additional 5-year penalty if a deal is worked. The CJ system isn't a Craigslist barter section.

Darby
29215
Points
Darby 09/21/13 - 10:23 am
4
1
"Kind of strange. Insanity plea?"

No, Riverman, just loophole shopping.

Ego556
327
Points
Ego556 09/22/13 - 08:39 am
2
1
i am sure all of you would

i am sure all of you would just plead guilty and ask for the maximum sentence...right.?

my.voice
5167
Points
my.voice 09/22/13 - 01:45 pm
0
2
Ego, if I did the crime, yes.

Ego, if I did the crime, yes. Only the guilty plea-deal.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 09/23/13 - 03:58 am
1
0
92% or more of all criminal
Unpublished

92% or more of all criminal cases end with a plea bargain. There is nothing unusual here...and the cj systems would not be able to run without it.

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