Article Courtesy of
The Bradenton Herald
September 15, 2013
-- Manatee County Judge Thomas Krug sentenced the former manager of a
Longboat Key condo association convicted of stealing more than $200,000 of
the association's funds to three years of prison and 10 years of probation
and ordered her to pay restitution Friday.
Paul, 49, was convicted of felony counts of grand theft in excess of
$100,000 and scheming to defraud more than $50,000.
feel that the most important function of sentencing that the statue directs
this court to find is punishment," Krug said. "Incarceration will
serve for that function to make it clear that this type of behavior is not
accepted and if it is committed, there is a punishment associated beyond
paying what is taken."
said he felt Paul displayed no remorse and that the evidence in the trial
revealed deviant behavior that went on for a long time. During sentencing he
recalled testimony from the trial that revealed Paul had purchased herself a
Harley Davidson with association money and then, when confronted with the
checked bearing the initials "H.D.," she "miraculously came
up with a company with the same initials."
began working as general manager of the Sand Cay Condo Association in June
2006. Her daily responsibilities included banking, accounting, personnel
issues and rental management.
60 units that comprise the beach resort, Sand Cay, 4725 Gulf of Mexico Dr.,
are individually owned but are also available as vacation rentals on a
weekly or monthly basis.
fraud was discovered when a routine 2009 audit uncovered more than 50 checks
that were issued by Paul and either cashed or deposited into her own
Sand Cay condo owners took the stand at the sentencing and detailed the
financial burdens that Paul's actions had caused and the toll it had put on
through a letter from jail she has called on our friendship to recommend
probation rather than prison," condo owner Sue Dammann. "However,
not in any of the many times she stole from us did her friendship with us
cause her to not steal from us."
said Paul explained that she felt she deserved the money she took because of
her increased duties, an agreement with an individual board member that she
would get money from an insurance settlement, and because she had to front
association money to pay bills, oftentimes because it was broke.
has no regret and remorse for what she did, just more excuses, and she has
no way of paying us back," Dammann said. "When your kids do wrong
you punish them, you don't stop loving them but they receive punishment. I
don't believe she should go unpunished."
and her fellow condo owners asked the court to sentence Paul to time in
the investigation and the trial, Paul has insisted she was innocent. Amidst
growing sobs and frustration, Paul addressed the courtroom with a
loved my job at Sand Cay, I loved every one of you," Paul said. "I
worked hard for you and I trusted you too and I believed what I was told,
that I would be compensated, that I could trust you. There is so much more
to this story."
pleaded to Krug to allow her to receive time served and probation so that
she could begin to repay any money the court decided, although she did not
regret that my actions helped tarnish Sand Cay," Paul said. "Sand
Cay is and was the finest accomplishment of my career, because my heart is
still with that place."
uncovering the theft, the condo association has tightened up on personnel
and management. In the end, the loss was passed on to Sand Cay owners
case marks the first brought to trial by the state attorney's office's new
white collar crime division.
the sentencing hearing, the defense motioned to Krug to set a supersedeas
bond that would allow Paul to be released once a appeal is filed.
ruled it was an appropriate request and set the supersedeas bond at
$100,000. Paul remains in custody at the Manatee County jail until an appeal
Key condo manager convicted of theft