Members of the Loggers Lane Owners’ Association are still coming to terms with the idea that one of their neighbors could have tried to take the group’s money without anyone noticing.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Members of the Loggers Lane Owners’ Association are still coming to terms with the idea that one of their neighbors could have tried to take the group’s money without anyone noticing.

Loggers Lane treasurer admits to crime, avoids charges

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— As the president of the Loggers Lane Owners’ Asso­ciation pulled into the bank to move money in the group’s account to a long-term fund, he found the group’s treasurer waiting for him.

Don’t go in there, she said. The money isn’t there. The money collected from the owners for everything from basic repairs to monthly bills wasn’t in the account, she said. She had taken it, in bits and pieces, during the past year and a half.

Then-president Rob Ryg took the treasurer, Kati More, straight to the police station, where she confessed her crime and vowed to pay it all back. At first, police said she called it a loan but later admitted that she took the money without authorization.

Within a week, she presented the owners association with a check for $57,000, and by the time she was done paying off her debts, she had paid back a total of $70,756.89 — the money she took, plus her own dues, banker fees and enough to cover the cost of an audit.

That was in late February, and members of the association still are coming to terms with the idea that one of their neighbors could have tried to take the group’s money without anyone noticing. More still has a store in the industrial area, and she’s even paid up on her dues to the group to keep her and her store, Artistic Edge, in good standing.

“It’s an awkward position to be in,” member Nancy Schwanke said, as she sat with several other association members in one of the stores. “We need to realize our association moved on, and we need to realize how lucky we are to recover the money.”

Even so, not all members, or police, are happy that More was not prosecuted for the crime she admitted to.

“We are bummed out that she couldn’t be arrested,” said Richard Schwanke, the new association president, even as he said he was happy to have the money back.

“She has to be accountable, and she’s not,” Newell Ficker said. “There’s no accountability, so she could do it again.”

More confirmed that the money was repaid but would not comment further. Her lawyer, Larry Combs, confirmed that the incident happened but did not want to otherwise comment.

The group members said More took the money by forging signatures on checks. At first, it was small amounts, $100 here or there, but by the time she was in full swing, More was writing checks to a new account she had set up at a separate bank for thousands of dollars at a time.

It’s not clear what, if anything, she used the money for.

Hanni Schwan­ke, who performed the audit to get the group’s accounts back on track, said the sophistication of the theft was surprising.

“After doing the audit … you can see how premeditated this was, how well thought out and how well planned it was,” she said.

Steamboat Springs Police De­­partment Detectives Capt. Bob DelValle said it is unusual for a clear-cut case to avoid prosecution.

“Typically, we will arrest a person under those circumstances, but she convinced the president of the board (Ryg, at the time) that she could come up with the money, and apparently she did,” he said.

He said that if the case went to court, and there was a conviction, restitution could have taken 10 or 15 years.

“I believe that she should have had some consequences for her behavior,” DelValle said.

Ryg said the shame of people knowing what More has done is punishment enough, and be­­cause the money was paid back, he doesn’t want to pursue charges.

“People know that she’s done this, and I think she’s taken a considerable amount of embarrassment because of this, and it’s pretty unusual that she would have paid this back,” he said.

Comments

oldskoolstmbt 4 years, 1 month ago

are you kidding me?....wouldn't fraud/forgery/theft be a felony in this case?...it appears some members of this association don't agree with Mr.Ryg....

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justice4all 4 years, 1 month ago

So, if one robs a bank, burglarizes a home, steals a car, etc, but returns the goods when they realize that they are about to be caught, the DA turns her head or sticks it in the sand. That is just wrong. There is no justice for the victims in this case----- or many other cases. The Rostink administration still lingers--only under a different name, OLDHAM. I still say that we only have justice for a few. What we need is justice4all.

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concernedppl 4 years, 1 month ago

Well to the people that personally feel that it their right to judge when they have done things that are like kind or worse really like to stress their hardship. Shame on you! The real details of this situation "the facts" weren't stated correctly in the article. A wrong judgement was made right before anybody was negatively affected. The results of her actions did not impact anyone financially except herself. Justice has been served!!!.. Let the ppl move on to their own lives and worry about themselves.

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oldskoolstmbt 4 years, 1 month ago

concerned: she forged signatures on checks (forgery)...she then deposited this money into another account (theft)....this is a felony...i have never committed OR been prosecuted on a felony...so yes, i guess i can make a judgement when one only fesses up when they are about to be found out...and she was the only one impacted financially?..why?because she had to hire a lawyer for her crimes....it sounds as though some of these people want justice to be served, not just "it's ok that you stole from us because you confessed"...AND where is the DA in all of this?! bogus...

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mmjPatient22 4 years, 1 month ago

If we've all missed some crucial details to this story, like maybe she didn't actually commit the crimes that have been detailed in the story, it would be great of someone to correct our ignorance. However, if this is not the case, and she HAS actually committed the crimes of forgery and theft, I'm afraid that I have to ask what makes her crimes any less prosecutable than the crimes of someone else that's done the same thing(s), under any circumstances? I'm no lawyer or law enforcer but it seems to me like there is a bit of a justice deficiency here.

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bandmama 4 years ago

So, if Debbie Eck says she is sorry, admits she did something illegal and then hosts a drug awarness seminar somewhere, would she be let go too? It seems a double standard to me, one steals and hurts someone, says she is sorry and is let go. There have been many questions (unanswered) as to the details of what Debbie was doing, but she sure wasn't stealing from people who placed her in a position of trust. Hmmmmmmmm...........

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concernedppl 4 years ago

Well you seem to have a bit of hateful in you. Why would you state such crap? Knowing who she is, is not what you described. In fact she lived at the residence your stating and her and boyfriend had a falling out and she was simply getting her own items. She has paid the price for error in timing and her boyfriend. He is the last person to judge based on all his past mistakes too. The other petty complaints are immature and the past is the past. Their are two sides to every story. People who move out of town cause they were ran out or have skeletons in their own closet should not be placing their judgements. let this be.. It's ENOUGH. Get the real truth to this and see the good in people and live your life. People need to forgive and really understand that meaning.

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bandmama 4 years ago

concern- not sure I understand your comment. I was referring to the above article which in my opinion states that Ms More admitting to theft. I didn't see any reference to any personal items, just monies that was not hers, which again by reading the article she even suggested it wasn't hers by repaying it. I was commenting on how unjust it seems that she got off scot free, Capote gets maybe 18 months for causing the death of a man, and Ms Eck is being made out to be an ogre for being a possible victom of an overzealous task force and DA. If you have inside info which was not printed in this article, you can't find fault and call people hateful for responding to this particular article. I am still confused as to the moving in and out of town response.....WHAT? If you feel there is "real truth" to be presented, please enlighten us.

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jk 4 years ago

bandmama, I think a few entries have been removed, that may have lead to other comments posted.

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bandmama 4 years ago

JK-hadn't thought of that...good point. but still think if one can get off with an "I'm Sorry" and another with a slap on the wrists, (although the fact that a death will be known instead of an "assault") others being charged with such outlandish accusations should just try to say "I'm sorry...." (dripping sarcasm.....in case anyone missed it...)

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jk 4 years ago

I'm with You bandmama,(I think I even picked up on some sarcasm)

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concernedppl 4 years ago

igotused seems to assume that I am KM. Well it's too bad that people like to start rumors again and say things that are not true. I am someone that is her senior and as far as "i got used", Well there must be a reason you did. By saying that, all these comments are slander and hurtful to this story. Once again there are facts that are not published that will state this situation is not what the paper portrayed. Many that will come to light..Sounds like you need to be punished for your defamation of character.

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freerider 4 years ago

Bandmama got this one right ....Our .D.A. is pathetic

Any man in Routt county can be arrested by just a phone call from a pissed off evil ex and then be prosecuted

can't help but think about the Sweet Pea fiasco

And now this

Capote walks

Debbie Eck will probably do more time than Capote

This is a felony and she walks , WTF ...time to get rid of OLDHAM

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oldskoolstmbt 4 years ago

concerned(-about-a -select-few): ????PLEASE, bring it to the light already!..if your NOT KM, then tell us what innocent things happened to make this just a crazy story the newspaper printed, PLEASE!!.....funny, we need to be PUNISHED for comments made about the facts that were printed, yet ms. more can WALK after CONFESSING to stealing/fraud...no wonder people think you are her...???....same old story in this valley...don't fry the big fish (capote, possibly More)...just the EASY ones (eck)...wow

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bandmama 4 years ago

LOL! Who cares who it is, from the written babble and lack of "facts" does it matter?

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concernedppl 4 years ago

Wow! This is quite interesting. No it's actually ridiculous. Your more than welcome to contact the paper and see who my name really is since they had to verify me. You all are getting off with digs and more worried about who you think I am instead of focusing on your own issues. Maybe we should start wondering if your KM? (WOW) LOL it's tired already!. Move on! Blah Blah Blah

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oldskoolstmbt 4 years ago

my point exactly...i don't care WHO you are(blogger ie: concernedppl)...your more than welcome to stick up for what and whom you believe in..just as we are... and just a little insight...i have no record...no issues that require or having to do with the public or people i really don't know and i guess that is why this is so interesting to me...just can't quite figure out why certain people do the things they do...AND tired?,move on already?...usually this sort of story would NORMALY just be getting started...in the newspaper and otherwise. p.s.~ how long have you lived here concerned?...just a general question

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