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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local May 1, 2016


12/26/2012 11:50:00 AM
Pearson of Beaver Creek Ranch House charged with embezzling funds
Kala Pearson
Kala Pearson

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter


BEAVER CREEK -- Yavapai County Sheriff's Office detectives arrested 57-year-old Kala Pearson Thursday for felony theft of money from the Beaver Creek Village Property Owners Association.

Detectives in November met with BCVPOA board members about a theft of funds from the association's corporate bank account. They reported a loss of $33,000. Only three persons had access to the account, including the designated secretary, Kala Pearson.

In 2009, the association began raising funds to help with the proposed building of a bridge over Beaver Creek for use by residents landlocked during flooding situations. In excess of $30,000 was raised. In 2011, the agreement with an involved landowner fell through and the bridge proposal was withdrawn. As result, residents started asking for their pledge money back, but were told by Pearson they would need to wait.

After reviewing documents, it was discovered Pearson had withdrawn the pledge money for either personal use or with deposits to the Beaver Creek Community Development Corporation (BCCDC). Pearson is President of the BCCDC and involved in the Ranch House Restaurant and Golf Course projects, also known as Ranch House Coalition (RHC).

Records showed a series of checks signed by Pearson beginning in August of 2012 through September and deposited to BCCDC. One of the August checks was written out for $20,000 and deposited into the RHC account. Pearson also used the only BCVPOA account debit card for food purchases at local markets.

Board members confirmed to detectives the money was taken without their knowledge and without any attempt by Pearson to secure input from the BCVPOA regarding the use of these funds. Detectives obtained a search warrant and recovered documents supporting the board members' allegations.

She was arrested at the RHC office's in Beaver Creek and booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center. The County Attorney has charged theft by extortion. Pearson has been released pending her next court date on Dec. 27.



Taylor Waste
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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2012
Article comment by: Another concerned citizen Harper

Might be very interesting to audit the books she has handled on the BCCDC and the RHC -- SOMEONE should question how those monies have been and are being spent..

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: Innocent until proven guilty

I think you need to wait and hear all the facts and find out just what occured. I know Kala and can't believe with all the work she does for the community that this is true. Give her the benefit of the doubt first. She is a wonderful person and great community leader

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: concerned citizen

Sad because she will only get a slap on the wrist. Probation and the promise to pay it back. The pay back will not happen. I really hope the court system does something about it. Unfortunately, the people are just out of luck and will NEVER see their money again. Why do you think they embezzle, because they have nothing to lose and money to keep.



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