State auditor points to alleged Housing Authority theft

EVERETT — A woman who was supposed to manage affordable housing properties in Snohomish County allegedly embezzled more than $56,000.

The Housing Authority of Snohomish County notified authorities in 2011 after finding problems, according to a report issued Monday by the state Auditor’s Office.

The woman worked as an investment manager for a private property company. Under a complicated agreement, the housing authority contracted with the company to manage properties in Marysville and Lynnwood.

The alleged theft happened between June 2010 and May 2011, when she was fired. State auditors allege that the woman made payments to fake vendors, among other things.

The company has paid back the missing money, as required by the contract, Housing Authority Executive Director Bob Davis said Monday.

The contract limited the housing authority’s financial oversight, he said. Auditors recommended that the housing authority review its internal controls.

“We’re looking at what we can do,” Davis said.

Auditors also reviewed financial documents for other staff at the company and didn’t find additional problems, the report says. The housing authority has ceased contracting with the company.

Pursuing fraud allegations is key to holding governments accountable for public money, said Thomas Shapley, spokesman for the auditor’s office.

The woman reportedly used some of the money to pay bills for other properties she managed that weren’t under the housing authority. She created vendor names similar to real vendors to avoid detection, the auditors say.

The auditors’ findings were forwarded to county prosecutors. No charges have been filed. Fraud investigations often take several years.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449, rking@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Residents are helping turn Casino Road in a new direction

An initiative backed by a $700,000 grant goes to the community for solutions to the area’s challenges.

It’s hard to find a parking spot at Wallace Falls State Park

There’s a study under way on how to tackle that issue and others.

At long last, a church of his own

After years of filling in elsewhere, Hallack Greider is the new pastor at Maplewood Presbyterian.

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Number of flu-related deaths in county continues to grow

Statewide, 86 people have died from the flu, most of whom were 65 or older.

2 names released from recent fatal crashes

Both men were killed earlier this month.

Man shot in confrontation with deputies under US 2 trestle

The man’s condition was not immediately available, nor were details about the incident.

With an immigrant’s help, kids reach out to Filipino children

Marysville students drew and sent portraits. Thanks to a video, they got to see the reaction.

Most Read