Prosecutors Drop Charges in Westbury HOA Theft Case - Southern Maryland Headline News

Prosecutors Drop Charges in Westbury HOA Theft Case



County Times Newspapers

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (August 04, 2017)—A litany of theft charges filed against the former property manager of the Westbury Community Association has been dropped by prosecutors, online court records show, but officials in State's Attorney Richard Fritz's office say Torya Nicole Timms is still under investigation.

All 16 counts against Timms were dropped mid-July, online court records show.

Officials would not comment further on the nature of the investigation.

The total amount of money Timms was alleged to have stolen from the homeowners association totaled $20,858.

According to charging documents filed in county District Cour,t state police began their investigation back in March of 2016 regarding transactions of Westbury Community Association funds. In speaking with an accountant who worked with the association, Trooper Steven Ditoto found that almost 20 checks from March through June of last year were simply made payable to cash.

"She advised this was strange because the community association does not typically write checks for cash," Ditoto wrote. "She further noted that the items in the memo line referred to what appeared to be normal expenses, however, those expenses have also been paid directly to the appropriate recipient."

A lawyer who worked for the community association told Ditoto that Timms had told her she had made out the checks payable to cash because she had been told to by a local accounting firm, Askey and Askey.

That firm told police investigating the suspicious cashed checks that they had not advised Timms to do so, charging documents stated.

"Ms. Askey… advised that prior to the community association ending their services with Askey and Askey, the firm's accountants were questioning certain expenses by the community association as odd or suspicious," Ditoto wrote in an application for a statement of charges.

Additionally, several contractors interviewed by Ditoto who had provided services to the community association told police that they had received payments by check and not by cash.

Ditoto wrote in court papers that he had determined that "14 checks were cashed with memo lines indicating false expenses."

"The money obtained from these checks is no longer in possession of the Westbury Community Association."

The checks allegedly cashed by Timms ranged from as low as $8 to $6,000, according to court papers.

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