Authorities are investigating the treasurer of the Stratford Community Association over the theft of nearly $200,000 from the Evans homeowners association’s 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, was until recently a member of the board of directors of the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Vanover was not reappointed to the board Wednesday when commissioners approved board appointments for the year, said Columbia County Clerk Erin Hall. The position is vacant until Commissioner Bill Morris recommends a replacement, she added.
Thomas Gorta, president of the homeowners association, told investigators on Dec. 19 that he discovered more than $192,000 missing from the association’s bank account.
Morris said investigators are reviewing all financial records associated with the association.
Gorta said he was advised not to speak publicly about the investigation and wouldn’t comment further.
In the initial incident report, Gorta told authorities that unauthorized transactions were first made on the association’s bank account on Nov. 5, 2008. Multiple transactions, totaling $192,018, occurred through Dec. 19, 2012. An estimated $78,497 was used for credit purchases and another $113,521 was withdrawn from ATMs, according to the report.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.
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.