December 24, 2012
EVANS, Ga. -- An investigation is underway after nearly $200,000 went missing from a local homeowners association bank account.
Tom Gorta, president of the Stratford HOA in Evans, contacted the Columbia County Sheriff's Office after realizing the money was missing last Monday.
"It's just not right," said George Roese, who's lived in Stratford for nearly 20 years. "I mean who can you trust nowadays?"
"That's a lot of money; that's probably the cost of one of these houses in here," he said when told about the missing funds.
According to an incident report, Gorta told investigators $192,018 had been taken from the account, starting in 2008. Gorta also said the HOA's treasurer was the only person who had access to the transaction cards for the account and checks.
"There should be at least two people on that board who have access to that account," Roese said. "And whoever accesses that account, the other member should have to cosign on that check."
Roese says the increase was to fix a brick wall at the entrance to the complex that has cracked, as well as a sprinkler system.