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Crime Trackers: HOA treasurer accused of stealing more than $200 - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Crime Trackers: HOA treasurer accused of stealing more than $200,000

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GREEN VALLEY - A trusted member of the community is accused of ripping off a home owner's association in Green Valley.

79-year-old Wendell Byram allegedly stole more than $200,000, leaving homeowners in the lurch.

In April, Byram showed up at the Pima County Sheriff's department in Green Valley, admitted to the theft and turned himself in, investigators said.

A homeowner, who wants to remain anonymous, said they are very familiar with the case. They live in the neighborhood where Byram was the treasurer for the home owner's association for the last seven years. 

“He apparently had the full trust of the board members," the neighbor said. "They never asked to look at bank statements, and he kept two sets of books.”

Last spring there was a change in the board as the president stepped down and a new one took over. That's when officials learned about the missing money.

The homeowner we spoke with said they never trusted Byram. They said the money he allegedly stole was reserved for road repair. 

“We've been building over a number of years backup money when we need roads. We own our roads we have to pay for our own road repairs and maintenance.”

It's also been reported Byram used some of the money for his business, "Presenter Products."  It's possible some of his neighbors may have suffered a double whammy: missing money from the HOA, and they also invested in his company.

The homeowner added, “I can't believe he lived in a neighborhood with people he's been bilking for four or five years.”

Pima County Sheriff's Fraud Unit has been investigating since April. One month ago, Byram was indicted on 16 counts including theft, fraud, forgery and computer tampering.

Detectives concluded the money was converted for personal use.

The homeowner told News 4 Tucson, “Byram also had new cars, so there are a lot of things he probably spent money on.”

Court documents show he sold his house in Canoa Seca Estate ll and moved into another one of his properties just down the road.

The takeaway, according to Sheriff’s deputy Ryan Inglett, “As a member of an HOA, where your money is being used for the betterment of your community, by all means, ask to see where that money is going. Ask for open books.”

The homeowner added that residents should use financial diligence, and have periodic checks and balances. 

Byram is expected back in court in December.

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