Laurie Wainwright Vanover, 46, of Andover Court, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of theft by taking at a hearing in Evans. She was accused of stealing more than $267,000 from the Stratford Community Association over nearly five years.
Superior Court Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. sentenced Vanover to seven years in prison followed by 28 years on probation. Though she presented a $12,500 check to go toward restitution, Brown ordered her to repay the remaining $255,163.08 plus a $10,000 fine before her probation ends.
“That’s all we could hope for,” association President Bob Clymer said after the sentence. “We’re just looking to heal and get moving on. That’s what we can do now.”
Vanover, who apologized to her neighbors at the hearing, was accused of stealing the money between February 2008 and December 2012, when then-association President Tom Gorta called authorities after a check through the association bank account didn’t clear and he discovered funds missing.
Assistant District Attorney Kim Easterling said Vanover wrote three checks to her husband’s company but got most of the money through ATM withdrawals and using the association’s debit card to pay her personal bills.
“(Vanover) indicated she used the money to live beyond her means,” Easterling said at the sentencing hearing.
Vanover’s attorney, Scott Connell, said since before her arrest, Vanover cooperated with authorities, even helping them sort through financial records. He asked the judge to consider a probated sentence or allowing her to serve jail time on weekends so she could work to earn restitution money during the week.
Connell also said that since her arrest, Vanover has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and is being treated.