Jacalyn Tobosa, 58, is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced on March 15 in Thurston County Superior Court. Tobosa was initially charged with 35 felonies - 26 counts of second-degree theft, seven counts of forgery and two counts of first-degree theft - in connection with the case. She pleaded guilty to the 10 counts of second-degree theft Tuesday before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christine Schaller.
During an interview with Tumwater police in 2011, Tobosa "admitted she had stolen approximately $20,000 from the foundation during the time she was executive director there," court papers state.
Tobosa has no prior criminal history. Outside court Tuesday, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney James Power said Tobosa's crimes "had a serious impact on a very important community asset."
The Olympia Tumwater Foundation was created in 1950 by the Schmidt family, owners of the Olympia Brewery. It is a public charity that uses its facilities and lands, including Tumwater Falls Park, to promote education. The foundation annually provides scholarships to local students, and manages Tumwater Falls Park and the Schmidt House. Its mission statement is: "To offer educational opportunities, a historic home and a community park to honor our history and celebrate our future."
Tobosa's daughter, Kimberly Spada, is charged with a single count of first-degree theft for taking more than $5,000 from the foundation between June 2010 and May 2011. Tobosa had hired Spada to do bookkeeping for the foundation in February 2011, despite that in 2002, Spada was convicted in Thurston County of eight counts of theft "based on having embezzled funds while she was working at Hanson Motors in Olympia," court papers state.
Spada still owes Hanson Motor's and Hanson's insurer $317,000, including interest, in court-ordered restitution after her conviction for embezzling from the auto dealership, court papers state. The total amount that Spada embezzled from Hanson Motors was $140,000, court papers state.
Spada failed to show up for her Sept. 11 arraignment in Thurston County Superior Court, and her whereabouts are unknown, Powers said. A warrant has been issued for her arrest, he said. "I don't think she's in the area," Powers said. "I think she's fled."
In a written statement to The Olympian last year, current Olympia Tumwater Foundation Executive Director John Freedman said the financial impact to the foundation did not impact its level of charitable work. "Donations, including those to Tumwater Falls Park, the Schmidt House, and the education program, were not affected," he wrote.
The Olympia Tumwater Foundation's insurer was able to cover most of the money lost, according to Freedman's statement.
According to court papers, Freedman, who was hired as an administrator for the foundation in 2008, had discovered that many of the checks issued by Tobosa to her son's landscaping company, Olympia Landscaping, were not supported by invoices in the foundation's financial records. Tobosa hired Olympia Landscaping to assist in maintaining Tumwater Falls Park.
Tobosa's embezzlement was discovered in a subsequent audit, court papers state. She was terminated from her position in June, 2011, and the Tumwater Police Department began its criminal investigation.
Court papers say the foundation's board believes Tobosa embezzled funds in the following ways:
She issued checks on the foundation's bank account to Olympia Landscaping for work that was not performed.
She issued checks on the foundation's bank account to herself without authorization.
She issued checks on the the foundation's investment account with Charles Schwab to Olympia Landscaping without any basis for such payments.
She used the foundation's debit card to pay personal expenses and those of her son.
She forged the signature of several foundation board members on some checks made out for especially large amounts to avoid suspicion arising from such large payments made without a second signature.
She falsified foundation records to hide her thefts.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 email@example.com