HOA treasurer admits to stealing $180,000
Green Valley News & Sun
By Kim Smith
14 April 2017

Wendell Odean Byram

Arizona: The treasurer for Canoa Seca Estates II walked into the Green Valley substation of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday afternoon and told deputies he was guilty of stealing $180,000 from the homeowners association, according to a PCSD spokesman.

Wendell Odean Byram, 79, was booked into the Pima County Detention Center on a single count of theft, Lt. Eric Johnson said.

the account balance “didn’t ring true,”

Bill Copeland, the HOA’s incoming president, said he went to Chase Bank with past-president Carl Schuster on Thursday to be added to the bank account. While they were there, they realized the account balance “didn’t ring true,” Copeland said.

After looking over three years of bank statements, Copeland said he and Schuster confronted Byram, who admitted to taking the money for his business, Copeland said.

According to the Arizona Corporation Commission, Byram is the statutory agent for Presenter Products, which sells carts capable of charging 40 electronic devices at once.

“He offered to pay us back over time, but how good is his word?” Copeland said Friday.

but how good is his word?

Byram agreed to accompany the men to the sheriff's substation and he was arrested, Copeland said.

Copeland described Byram as being “surprisingly calm.”

“There were no apologies,” Copeland said.

Byram has been the HOA treasurer for at least five years, and until an audit is done, Copeland said they won’t know for certain much money is missing.

As incoming president, Copeland said he doesn’t know when an HOA representative was last at the bank.

we had no reason to doubt him

“He gave very good financial reports at our meetings and we had no reason to doubt him,” Copeland said. “We’re probably like most HOAs, we just relied on our treasurer’s paperwork.”

Copeland said the HOA is unaware of any bounced checks and no projects have been delayed in recent years. Last year the HOA paid for a road project that takes place every four years.

Whether future road projects could be affected is unknown, Copeland said.

The HOA’s insurance company has been contacted and there is a chance some of the loss will be covered, Copeland said, adding an emergency meeting of the board will be scheduled as soon as possible.

In a letter to homeowners sent Friday, Copeland said the old bank account had been closed and a new one opened. Byram has been relieved of his responsibilities, Copeland wrote in the letter.

Pima County Adult Detention Center records show Byram is no longer in their facility.

Messages left at Byram’s home and business Friday were not returned.

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