THORNHURST TOWNSHIP — Members of a private housing community in Lackawanna County learned this week that their long-time property manager is headed to court, accused of stealing thousands from their association.
Lackawanna County detectives arrested Robin Hess of Pocono Lake this week. She was the property manager for Thornhurst Country Club Estates . She’s been charged with theft and forgery for allegedly stealing $50,000 from the club.
But, cops say there’s still more investigating to do and the damage could be far worse.
Thornhurst Country Club Estates is a tight-knit community of about 400 property owners who pay dues to be members of the club. They all received a letter this week telling them their property manager of more than 10 years is being prosecuted by the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office.
That manager, Robin Hess, has been charged with theft and forgery for allegedly stealing from the club. But, many of those paying members say that’s all they’ve heard so far.
“That’s the problem, I’m in the dark, and I’m just hoping it’s not too much of our money that’s involved in this. I’d like to see restitution or justice, that’s all,” said Norman Mapps, who lives at Thornhurst Country Club Estates.
Hess worked out of the main offices for Thornhurst Country Club Estates. According to court papers, a newly elected board president noticed discrepancies in the books and called police.
Detectives found that Hess had given herself a $7,000 raise every year for four years, and made personal purchases on a company credit card. She’s accused of forging company checks to pay her bankruptcy attorney. And, detectives believe when members of the club paid dues in cash, Hess pocketed the money.
“That’s a lot of dues, and I wasn’t aware that it was that much. But, anybody who steals, I have no sympathy for them,” said another homeowner, Susan Engels.
“Just want justice now, and hopefully it wasn’t too much of our money. It’s hard to pay your dues as it is, let alone have it disappear,” added Mapps.
Detectives aren’t sure when the alleged theft started. They’re still going through years of the club’s financial records. So, they say there could be more charges coming for Robin Hess.
Hess is expected to be back in court for a hearing next month.