Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods is a gated lakeside community along Route 3 in northeastern Orange County.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the reported embezzlement of more than $400,000 from the Lake of the Woods Association by a former employee, according to a Tuesday news release.

No arrests have been made in the case, according to the release, which states that the crime is alleged to have unfolded over about four years.

The Sheriff’s Office learned in August of the embezzlement from the Association, which governs the gated lakeside community located along Route 3 in northeastern Orange County.

According to a news release Tuesday from Philip Rodenberg with Lake of the Woods, a financial irregularity was discovered during its 2018 audit. The Association hired the Forensus Group to conduct a forensic investigation into alleged material misconduct by former Director of Finance Roy C. Mayberry.

Forensus subsequently identified a PayPal scheme by which Mayberry allegedly directed 95 transactions totaling $457,197.34 from the Association’s operating account into his personal PayPal account over a period of 44 months, the release states.

The transfers were hidden by inflating the value of the Association’s fixed assets, according to the release. Forensus found no evidence of collusion among other Lake of the Woods Association employees, or anyone else.

According to Association Board President Cliff Wilks, revised and enhanced internal-control procedures have since been implemented. The Association has also filed an insurance claim with its fidelity bond insurance provider and is cooperating with law enforcement and any prosecution efforts against Mayberry, the release states.

According to the Lake of the Woods website, members of the homeowners association pay an annual fee determined by a seven-member board of directors comprised of fellow homeowners.

The board functions much like a town council, and is charged with developing an annual budget from the fees paid, which finances the operation and maintenance of all facilities and services at Lake of the Woods and partially subsidizes amenity operations, according to the website.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 540/672-1200 to speak with either Sheriff Mark Amos or Maj. Michael LaCasse.

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Allison Brophy Champion can be reached at abrophy@starexponent.com or (540) 825-4315.

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