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Monday, May 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Spokane police investigating woman accused of stealing nearly $200,000 from SNAP

UPDATED: Thu., March 21, 2019, 9:27 p.m.

Spokane police believe a former property manager in charge of multiple SNAP properties stole nearly $200,000 from the nonprofit over a four-year period.

The woman, who has not been arrested or charged, was hired in May 2014 by Coast Property Management – a property management company contracted by SNAP – Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners – in 2008. Detective Ty Snider, in a search warrant filed Wednesday in Spokane County Superior Court, writes that six months after her start date, she started making deposits into her personal checking and savings accounts, some as large as $49,000, until she was fired Jan. 15.

SNAP CEO Julie Honekamp confirmed the woman was terminated earlier this year. In a written statement, Honekamp said the nonprofit has hired an independent forensic accountant who has so far been able to verify $50,000 in missing funds.

Snider notes, however, that ATM transactions through her bank, Washington State Employees Credit Union, showed about $180,000 in transactions.

“Our first concern is ensuring that no client’s housing was affected by this situation,” wrote Honekamp. “At this point, we believe no SNAP client has been negatively impacted and will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure that remains the case.”

The investigation into the woman began after an employee at Resident Court Apartments, managed by Coastal Property Management, filed a police report on Jan. 3 accusing the woman of depositing a $6,300 SNAP rent check into her personal account.

Court records say the woman managed many other properties, including Alexandra Apartments on Howard Street, Avondale Apartments on Second Avenue, Belamy Apartments on First Avenue, Collins Apartments on Wall Street, Patrician Apartments on Second Avenue, Riverwalk Point I and II, Sinto Apartments on Sinto Avenue, St. Anne’s Apartments on Pacific Avenue, Pacific Apartments on Pacific Avenue, Windsor Apartments on Eighth Avenue, and Pine Villa Apartments on Graves Road.

After she was terminated, SNAP provided copies of 20 checks to police, totaling more than $19,000, that were deposited into the same WSECU bank account.

A search warrant granted on Feb. 20 by Spokane Superior Court Judge Annette Plese allowed access to four years of the woman’s banking history.

Snider writes that he found evidence of multiple other transactions, ranging from $6,000 to $24,000 and up to $50,000.

“Many of these deposits were followed by transfers between accounts and withdrawals by ATM or check,” Snider wrote. “Many of these withdrawals were made at Northern Quest Casino.”

Honekamp said as the investigation continues, the nonprofit is “already implementing even more rigorous checks and balances into processes and procedures.”

“We have always passed vigorous independent audits and work to maintain the highest professional standards managing our partner and client money,” she said. “At the conclusion of the investigation, we will implement any additional steps recommended in the report.”

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