A family allegedly at the center of a scheme to embezzle money from a Richland Township homeowner association have paid back the money – some of it anyway.
Dennis P. Michaels, 57, his wife, Julia S. Michaels, 62, and their daughter Julianna Theresa Zamias, 32, are accused of stealing more than $84,000 from Skyview Estate Homeowner Association from Jan. 1, 2007, through Dec. 31, 2013, while they were officers of the association.
Dennis Michaels appeared for an accelerated rehabilitative disposition hearing Wednesday before Cambria County Judge David Tulowitzki.
He paid $17,390 to the association before being placed on ARD for nine months for theft by deception, Assistant District Attorney Joseph Green said.
“He paid the full amount that was attributable to him and his wife,” Green said.
If Michaels stays out of trouble while on ARD, his criminal record will be expunged. If he violates probation, his ARD will be revoked and he will be resentenced.
Criminal charges against Julia Michaels were withdrawn.
The case against Zamias appears more complicated.
She is not only accused of stealing the bulk of the money but also driving off with the associations’ two tractors.
Green said Zamias is on the hook for about $82,000.
That amount includes the tractors and $15,000 for a forensic audit done by Wessel and Co., a local accounting firm.
Zamias is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on May 4.
When asked the chances of Zamias paying back all the money, Green was clear.
“It’s the difference between not having a criminal record or being found guilty of felony theft and possibly going to jail,” he said. “So I would think the likelihood is pretty good.
“That’s been my motive all along is to get the (association) their money,” he said.