High Springs woman gets 10 years for embezzlement

Article Courtesy of The Alachua County Today

By C. Walker

Published February 24, 2016


ALACHUA – Charges of embezzlement from 11 homeowner associations (HOA) in Alachua and Gainesville led to combined charges and a conviction of racketeering for an employee of a Gainesville-based HOA management company.

Sally Ann Wilson, 53, who lived in High Springs, and worked for Sun Lu Properties, Inc., will receive a 10-year state prison sentence, minus 379 days for time served, and additional penalties after being found guilty of racketeering.

Wilson pled no contest to multiple charges leading to a combined charge of racketeering after it was found that she used her affiliation with Sun Lu Properties to embezzle funds from the HOAs she managed. Judge Stanley Griffis found Wilson guilty after she entered her plea.

On Jan. 28 the State Attorney's Office notified Alachua’s Meadowglen Property Owners association that Wilson will receive a 10-year state prison sentence, minus time served, and additional penalties after being found guilty.

Other penalties include $250,000 restitution over 20-year probation to HOAs and 20 years supervised probation after serving her 10-year prison sentence.

Although charges were filed against Wilson by representatives of Meadowglen Property Owners' Association, they were not the first organization to notice fund deficits. According to earlier comments from Gainesville Police Department spokesperson Ben Tobias, the original case was first brought to the attention of authorities by John Hartwell of the University Terrace Gainesville Condominium Association. By the time the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office started looking into it, the GPD already had three open cases on the matter.

An earlier report indicated that the total amount of embezzled funds was approximately $150,000. Initially it was thought that only four HOAs were involved in Wilson's embezzlement scheme, but additional investigations revealed a total of 11 HOAs had funds embezzled from them.

In addition to Meadowglen Property Owners in Alachua, University Terrace West, Millhopper North HOA, University Terrace Gainesville Condominium Association, Saanvi HOA, Edgemoore Subdivision, Palmetto Villas Condominium, Bartram Woods, Hampton Ridge HOA, Kanapaha Meadows HOA and Moffy Oaks HOA were also impacted.

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 canceled their contract with Sun Lu.

Warrington went to City of Alachua police officer Danny Chalker, who referred the case to 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 GPD.

From the dates of May 10 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 March 2013, 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 Sun Lu, said Warrington.

Grundmann pled guilty to another case and was ordered by Judge William Davis to pay restitution in the amount of $20,080. Prosecutors were unable to find enough evidence to prosecute Rivers, and Novak was never charged in this case according to Gary Lloyd, Deputy Chief Investigator, State Attorney's Office.