By Diana Hefley Herald Writer
EVERETT — A lengthy investigation into the disappearance of up to $330,000 from the YWCA’s coffers has led prosecutors to charge a Granite Falls woman with a felony.
Stephanie Koppisch once managed the YWCA’s south Everett apartments for women and children. Prosecutors alleged that Koppisch, 43, pocketed rent money that she collected from tenants. In some cases, Koppisch’s records showed that the tenants were delinquent on their rent even though they had receipts or copies of money orders showing that they’d paid the manager, court papers said.
Records allegedly show that Koppisch altered and cashed money orders. Detectives also believe that she pocketed cash payments.
Koppisch, who was fired in 2011, is now charged with first-degree theft. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Scott Halloran charged the case in a way that opens the door for a lengthier prison sentence for Koppisch if she is convicted.
Koppisch has been summoned to answer to the charge next month in Snohomish County Superior Court. She was arrested in September and later released.
The missing money came to light in the summer of 2010 when YWCA officials noticed that revenue for the south Everett apartment complex was significantly down. Koppisch reportedly told her bosses that the bad economy was to blame.
By January 2011, YWCA officials began digger deeper into the apartment complex’s books. They noticed numerous inconsistencies, including altered money orders and uncollected fees.
Koppisch was put on administrative leave, court papers said.
She later reportedly admitted to her bosses that she took money from renters who paid in cash and altered and forged money orders, a sheriff’s detective wrote. She was fired and YWCA officials reported the theft to Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies.
Detectives reviewed Koppisch’s bank records and allegedly discovered nearly $170,000 in money orders that were deposited in her personal account between 2007 and 2011. Investigators also noted numerous cash deposits during the same time.
The YWCA filed a claim with its insurance company, which paid the organization $330,000, according to court records.
At the time of her arrest, YWCA sent out a press release, saying Koppisch had passed a background check before she was hired in 2007.
Officials also said they were working to improve internal controls and employee training to prevent fraud.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463, firstname.lastname@example.org