ALACHUA – Fraud and grand theft charges have been filed after an Alachua homeowners’ association alleges money was embezzled from its bank account. Meadowglen neighborhood, located on County Road 235A in Alachua appears to be the victim of theft.

The news came as Meadowglen Property Owners' Association board members recently found its bank account had been drained. The board was tipped off after learning of other alleged victims who also used Gainesville’s SunLu Properties to manage their homeowners’ associations.

After the Alachua County Sherriff's Office (ACSO) and the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) started looking into embezzlement allegations aimed at an employee of SunLu last month, the investigation is still ongoing.

Sally Wilson, 53, was accused by her coworkers of writing checks to landscapers and other employees so they could cash them for her.

SunLu manages several homeowner associations in Alachua County, and so far, evidence indicates that at least four, including Meadowglen, have had money taken from them.

The total amount of embezzled money taken from the various homeowner associations SunLu manages is about $150,000, according to Ben Tobias, spokesman for the Gainesville Police Department. The GPD is working with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office on the case, and is still uncertain how many homeowner associations have been affected. GPD knows of at least four in their jurisdiction, Tobias said, including the Meadowglen Property Owners' Association in Alachua. The president of the Meadowglen homeowners association, Kevin Hamill, declined to comment.

The investigating officers have run into a few snags while working out the details of the case, said Todd Kelly, spokesman for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

“Right now, they’re kind of at a standstill,” he said. Law enforcement officers tried to get records from the PNC Bank where the checks were cashed last month, but the bank required a search warrant before cooperating. The warrant was executed on April 24, but the findings haven't been submitted to the ACSO or GPD reporting systems, Kelly said. Officers might still be sifting through all the evidence.

A SunLu employee who did not name herself said the charges against Wilson were “not true.”

“Our office was broken into, checks were stolen,” she said, indicating that Wilson's name had been forged. The employee later indicated she was Patricia Wilson, owner of SunLu and mother of Sally Wilson.

The original case was first brought to the attention of the authorities by John Hartwell, of the University Terrace Gainesville Condominium Association, Tobias said. By the time the ACSO started looking into it earlier this month, the GPD already had three open cases on the matter.

Terri Warrington, treasurer of the Meadowglen Property Owners' Association, first noticed her organization was about $8,000 short after reviewing bank statements she received on April 8, according to records from Meadowglen. On April 10, Meadowglen cancelled their contract with SunLu. Warrington went to City of Alachua police officer Danny Chalker, who referred the case to the GPD since the alleged crimes were committed in Gainesville. She told him $7,424 worth of fraudulent checks were made out to Sally Wilson, Kenneth Grundmann, John Rivers and Danielle Novak, according to a police report from the GPD.

From the dates of May 10, 2012 to Oct. 15, 2012, there were five checks made out to Wilson totaling $1,126 from Meadowglen. Warrington said the checks were not authorized. From May 2012 to last March, 13 other checks were written to Grundmann, Rivers and Novak. Grundmann admitted Wilson wrote the checks and he cashed them. Grundmann and Rivers were both maintenance workers for SunLu, said Warrington. She did not know Novak.

Wilson, Grundmann and Rivers are all suspects in the embezzlement of money from multiple homeowners' associations. Wilson is being charged with three counts of grand theft and one count of fraud, said Tobias.

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