CEO accused of stealing $415K from Summit Realtors
Sue Ann Frank, the longtime chief executive officer of the Summit Association of Realtors, was arrested Dec. 2 and charged with felony theft and forgery by the Dillon Police Department.
According to the arrest affidavit, Frank stole more than $415,000 from SAR, an organization she has led for nearly 20 years, by forging checks and making unauthorized transfers. She declined to comment on the charges.
Frank was hired to lead SAR, a nonprofit organization serving area realty agents, in 1996. At the time, she was touted as a reformer who would clean up an organization that had recently fired a CEO caught embezzling money from the group. Frank was lauded for cleaning up messy records and fixing a dysfunctional billing system.
However, on Dec. 2, Andrew Biggin, a member of SAR’s board of directors and a past SAR president, told police he had discovered Frank had forged his signature on three checks totaling $232,000.
On Nov. 11, 18 and 28, Frank deposited checks in the amounts of $58,000, $78,000 and $96,000, respectively, into her personal account at FirstBank in Breckenridge, according to the arrest affidavit.
Biggin later learned from bank employees that she had also deposited checks on June 17, July 25, Aug. 11 and Oct. 29, totaling more than $183,000. Biggin was first alerted to the suspicious bank transactions by the association’s president, who said Frank had recently transferred $100,000 with authorization from the association’s Edward Jones account into her personal account at FirstBank.
Biggin told police that he recognized Frank’s signature on the endorsement line. He said that the memo on the checks said the money was for personal or short-term loans. However, Biggin said SAR does not make loans. Additionally, he told police the signature on the checks appeared to be similar to his, but was not. Biggin did not return a phone call seeking comment.
At around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Biggin and a Dillon police officer went to interview Frank at the association’s offices on Lake Dillon Drive. However, the portion of the arrest affidavit detailing that interview has been blacked out by the district attorney’s office, which says it is withholding the information due to the nature of the ongoing investigation.
Frank was booked into the Summit County Jail at around 5:45 p.m. that day. She bonded out later that evening. The bond had been set at $15,000 and stipulated that she not leave the state.
“The allegations against Ms. Frank come on the heels of two other high-profile embezzlement cases in the Fifth Judicial District,” District Attorney Bruce Brown said in a written statement. “We would hope that the blatant thefts by these employees would set an example for others, but that’s not always the case. However, anyone considering embezzlement from his or her employer should note that these thefts always, always come to light eventually and carry very stiff penalties.”
The two cases Brown referenced involve Henry Kunter, who is serving eight years in community corrections after attempting to steal from the Eagle Valley Rotary Club; and Dawna Foxx, who is serving five years for her theft from the Breckenridge Festival of Film.
According to records filed with the Internal Revenue Service, Frank pulled in an annual salary of just under $100,000. She is scheduled for her first court appearance in Summit County Court on Feb. 4.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
A fire in a building at Willits Town Center Thursday night forced Roaring Fork Fire Rescue to prepare for the worst because of residences on the upper two stories. Fortunately the fire was confined to an HVAC unit on the roof.