HOA worker illegally spent $94,000 on hotels, ring, purses, more [1-19-17]
Article Courtesy of The Palm Beach Post
By Tony Doris
Published January 6, 2017
WEST PALM BEACH — The bookkeeper for a suburban West Palm Beach HOA worker has been arrested for allegedly using nearly $95,000 of the association’s money for personal expenses from a $2,138 diamond ring to an $804 purse.
Kristine K. Moore, 36, of West Palm Beach, was charged Dec. 29 with larceny and fraud in the disappearance of $94,674 from the master homeowners association of Cypress Lakes, a 1,000-home, 55-plus community off Haverhill Road, just north of Century Village. She was released on $20,000 bond the next day.
According to a police affidavit, in April 2014, the association’s property manager reviewed the association’s credit card bills and called police after discovering about $10,700 in charges for personal purchases between November 2013 and March 2014. A further review indicated much larger losses, not just from association credit cards but in missing cash deposits that homeowners had made.
The dozens of credit card purchases included nearly $3,000 spent at electronics store Best Buy, $8,000 at Walmart and Walmart.com, and thousands more from such places as Springhill Suites, Supercuts, Sprint Wireless, Publix, K Star Diamond & Jewelry and Victoria’s Secret. There was perfume, an engagement ring, air freshener, hotel bills from Hampton Inn and Best Western, a cell phone and 46 cell phone cases and Louis Vuitton purse.
Merrill Gottlieb, president of the homeowners association, said Wednesday that Moore worked in the community for nearly six years. She was earning about $44,000 a year, the police report said.
A preliminary accounting review by the association indicated Moore had been using its money for personal expenditures since 2011 and doctored the books to make it appear all was well, the report said. On March 26, 2014, while the property manager was in the office within earshot of her, discussing with an accountant the discovery of serious discrepancies in association bank records, Moore picked up her belongings and left, never to return, the report said.
Gottlieb said he could not speak about the case. “We’ve cooperated with law enforcement on this and law enforcement has been helpful to us,” he said.
Where the money went:
Some of the retailers where Moore allegedly spent money:
Best Buy: $2,947.84
Amazon Marketplace: $2,526.97
Sprint Wireless: $2,316.51
Priceline Hotels: $1,750.42
CVS Pharmacy: $1,302.40
Springhill Suites, Boca Raton: $1,138.86
Apple itunes: $1,099.63