Woman accused of stealing $300K from local YWCA

EVERETT, Wash. -- A former YWCA worker is accused of stealing $300,000 from the non-profit, and investigators say the money was coming from rent payments.

Detectives started investigating the case several years ago after staff became suspicious of low revenue. They say Stephanie Koppisch was stealing money from the organization to make payments on her own home.

Koppisch made her first court appearance Wednesday. She's accused of stealing $300,000 and is now facing a charge of first degree theft and 10 counts of forgery.

"I think that is always hurtful and disappointing when somebody that you've trusted breaks that trust," said YWCA regional director Mary Anne Dillon.

Koppisch managed the YWCA's Wear to Live Apartment complex for nearly four years. During the summer of 2010, staff noticed revenue generated from the rent was low, which Koppisch said was due to the bad economy.

"Come the end of 2010, we realized there should be more consistency in where the revenue should be and that's when we proceeded with our very detailed investigation," Dillon said.

According to court documents, staff found fabricated leases, altered money orders and signs of embezzlement. Koppisch was placed on paid administrative leave and later fired after she allegedly confessed to taking money.

"I was in disbelief because we have some really tight internal controls in place," Dillon said. "I did not understand how somebody could have not followed those internal controls and policies and procedures that were in place."

Investigators say Koppisch told the YWCA staff she took money from tenants who paid rent in cash, along with changing names on money orders.

Residents got a letter from the YWCA director about what happened.

"I think it's terrible," said a resident named Kathy. "The few times I talked to her she was really nice."

Court documents show detectives traced some of the money orders to deposits made into Koppisch's accounts, but some of the cash is still unaccounted for.

As for the YWCA, staff filed a claim with their insurance carrier and recovered the $300,000.