The former facilities manager of the Carlyon Beach Homeowners Association was charged Tuesday with first-degree theft for allegedly embezzling more than $95,000 since 2003.
Deborah Kay Hendrickson, 57, who has left the state without paying restitution and is believed to be in Minnesota, is scheduled to be arraigned June 1 in Thurston County Superior Court, court records state.
Sharon Dorning, the president of the homeowners association for about the past year, said Carlyon Beach is a private community of about 650 residents on waterfront property at the end of Steamboat Island Road. It operates a sewage-treatment plant, a well-water system, parks and a marina, she said.
Dorning said the discrepancies in the association’s accounting were discovered a little more than a year ago, after the association hired an accountant who lives on Carlyon Beach to update its financial records.
Hendrickson previously had done all of the association’s accounting, Dorning said, adding that people in Carlyon Beach are shocked by the allegations.
“She was very much loved throughout the community,” Dorning said. “When it came to light, there was a good part of the community that was in disbelief.”
The financial losses have not affected the services that the association provides, Dorning said. The association has not had to raise its monthly dues, she said.
The worst element of the criminal investigation that culminated in charges is the damage it has done to friendships among residents, Dorning added.
“Something like this splits the community in half,” she said.
According to court records:
Hendrickson was terminated from her job with the homeowners association in February 2009, after the initial fraudulent transactions came to light. Initially, the association discovered that Hendrickson had taken $6,600 to pay off credit cards.
The association began an internal investigation.
In June, an official with the homeowners association turned over financial records to a Thurston County Sheriff’s Office detective.
The records show Hendrickson used homeowners association funds to make six transfers totaling $7,120.83 to pay her credit card account between September 2007 and August 2008. She also placed $22,150.67 in her personal account using homeowners association funds between July 2006 and August 2008.
Additionally, Hendrickson paid herself $1,103.22 in homeowners association funds between May and September 2008, and paid health-insurance premiums for her domestic partner using homeowners association funds totalling $10,105.03 between June 2006 and February 2009.
Investigation also revealed that Hendrickson paid herself for hours not worked between February 2007 and November 2008, totalling $1,337.27.
“To conceal these fraudulent transfers, Hendrickson submitted false documents and made false entries into CBHA financial records,” the investigation found.
At that point, investigation costs were at least $17,526.13.
During a telephone interview with her attorney present, Hendrickson admitted misappropriating money, but only from CBHA’s debit card to pay off credit card bills on three occasions, totaling $7,120.83.
Additional investigation of CBHA accounts, bank statements and bookkeeping records maintained by Hendrickson dating to 2003 revealed that an additional $53,126.09 had been embezzled.
Hendrickson’s attorney, Saxon Rodgers, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 firstname.lastname@example.org