Columbia County authorities continue to investigate nearly $200,000 stolen from the Stratford Community Association.
“This is an ongoing criminal investigation that will likely take several more days if not weeks to resolve,” Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said. “Involved parties are cooperative and assisting investigators.”
Laurie Wainwright Vanover, the treasurer of the association, was questioned in connection to more than $192,00 missing from the association’s bank account.
Thomas Gorta, the president of the homeowners association, told investigators on Dec. 19 that he discovered the funds missing, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office report. Morris said investigators are reviewing the group’s financial records.
Gorta told authorities that unauthorized transactions were first made on the association’s bank account on Nov. 5, 2008, according to the report. 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 An estimated $78,497 was used for credit purchases and another $113,521 was withdrawn from ATMs, according to the report.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.