Ex-condo officer in Century Village

pleads guilty to theft of $17,250

Article Courtesy of The Sun Sentinel

By Missy Stoddard
Posted October 20, 2005

A 78-year-old Century Village resident who was the president and treasurer of her condominium association pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing $17,250 from the association's coffers.

Shirley Epstein has repaid the money to the Sheffield Q Condominium Association and will also have to pay court costs, according to Assistant State Attorney Frank Castor. The prosecution opted not to place Epstein on probation.

"It's pointless to try to rehabilitate a 78-year-old," Castor said. "She's not in her position anymore and she's now a felon and has paid the restitution in full."

Epstein declined to comment when contacted at her home Wednesday morning.

In 1998, she began writing herself checks on a monthly basis from the association's account, Castor said. The thefts were discovered in 2004, in part as a result of the association needing to pay for damage caused by the hurricanes at the complex west of West Palm Beach.

Neighbors and fellow board members were shocked when they learned of Epstein's deceit.

"Some members here were so hurt, they would have liked to see her put in jail," said Marion Walters, the association's current treasurer. "She acts like nothing happened."

Though Epstein has never personally apologized to her neighbors, she did write a letter of apology to the board, according to Walters.

Phyllis Kane, the association's secretary, said it's awkward and uncomfortable running into Epstein on the property.

"You have coffee with them, you go to funerals with them, you commiserate with them and then they steal from you," she said.