YWCA worker accused of stealing up to $300,000

EVERETT — A former YWCA employee is accused of stealing up to $300,000 from the rent checks and deposits of people living at the organization’s apartment complex for women and children south of Everett.

Stephanie A. Koppisch, 42, of Granite Falls, was arrested after surrendering to police Tuesday morning amid a lengthy criminal investigation.

Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives have been collecting and analyzing documents and financial records regarding Koppisch for more than two years, court papers show.

YWCA officials called police after discovering the alleged theft in January 2011. Detectives were able to trace at least $168,000 that was taken from the organization and then showed up in Koppisch’s personal bank accounts, according to the arrest report.

Detectives believe Koppisch took $300,000 in all, but some of the missing funds were untraceable cash.

Koppisch became a manager at the 90-unit complex on Fourth Avenue W. in 2007.

In addition to taking people’s rent money, she reportedly altered tenant money orders, rent applications and lease forms, court papers show.

She reportedly used about $85,000 of the money to make mortgage payments on her home in Granite Falls.

Detectives so far are recommending charges of theft and 10 potential counts of forgery. They may seek additional charges later.

Several tenants have been able to provide police with documentation showing they paid their rent even though it was never recorded in documents managed by Koppisch.

Koppisch has no known criminal history. She passed a background check before being hired, according to a YWCA statement issued Tuesday regarding the arrest.

Koppisch was fired in January 2011 after an internal investigation.

The YWCA doesn’t believe she stole any government or donated money from the organization.

YWCA officials also have been working to improve internal controls and employee training to prevent fraud.

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

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