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THE former treasurer of a South Carolina property’s owners association has turned herself in after being accused of stealing over $150,000 from the organization’s accounts.
Patricia Butville, 68, turned herself into Beaufort County police on Monday morning on two charges of Breach of Trust with fraudulent intent.
The Hilton Head resident had been serving as treasurer of the Broad Point POA since 2019, according to the Island Packet.
Previously, she served as secretary for the association in 2012 and 2013, as well as the board president in 2014.
Butville resigned from her last position earlier this year.
While serving as treasurer, Butville was the sole signatory for the POA’s financial accounts.
At the same time, the accounts were reportedly “never audited,” causing suspicious transactions to fly under the radar.
During her time in the role, Butville allegedly stole over $150,000 from those accounts.
In June, a letter to the members of the POA claimed Butville had been withdrawing the funds to “pay personal expenses.”
It also went on to claim that Butville purposely misled members of the board to hide the suspicious activity.
“Patricia prepared and circulated misleading financial reports which were presented to the Board and then by the Board to the Owners,” the letter said.
Transaction records viewed by the Island Packet allege that Butville made the first suspicious withdrawal of POA funds on December 12, 2018.
The transaction amount was around $8,000.
At the time, Butville was not a member of the board and reportedly was not supposed to have access to that account.
Up until April 2023, Butville allegedly continued to withdraw funds once or twice a month.
The transaction amounts reportedly ranged from as little as $90 to as much as $15,000.
The board previously reportedly declined to pursue criminal charges against the former treasurer, however that decision was reversed in August and the investigation was reopened.
Court documents reviewed by the Island Packet allege that Butville stole approximately $15,124 from two of the association’s financial accounts.
Board members have also supposedly further estimated that the Hilton Head resident embezzled up to $196,924.50 in POA funds.
Additionally, officials also claim Butville stole $22,249.81 from the Indigo Run Community Owner’s Association.
Butville reportedly signed a confession accepting liability for the various thefts, agreeing to return the funds by June 2024.
As of Tuesday, it was not immediately clear how much Butville still owed to the two associations – if any.
Police records show Butville was released from custody later on Monday, after posting bond.
Investigators told the Island Packet that Butville will likely not face any additional criminal charges.
Butville faces a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years for each fraud charge.