Prosecutors: Issaquah HOA president bilked organization

July 12, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

Investigators said a 46-year-old Issaquah man bilked more than $11,000 from a homeowners association he once led.

Kennedy M. Mulwa served as the homeowners association president at Sammamish Crown Condominiums, 4330 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E., in early 2010. King County prosecutors said he transferred $11,370 from the homeowners association’s account to his business, Orwell Tours and Travel.

Mulwa faces a first-degree theft charge in the case. He had not been jailed after prosecutors filed charges June 23. He failed to appear in court for a scheduled July 7 arraignment, leading a judge to issue a bench warrant for his arrest.

The penalty for first-degree theft is up to 10 years in prison or a fine up to $20,000, or incarceration and a fine.

In January 2010, a homeowners association employee discovered a withdrawal from a reserve account. Fellow board members confronted Mulwa about the withdrawal on Jan. 19, 2010, but said he lacked the funds to replace the money in the homeowner association’s account, court documents state.

Mulwa’s attorney contacted the homeowner association employee to attempt to resolve the problem. The employee told the attorney Mulwa needed to repay the money. The employee later sent Mulwa a letter demanding for him to return the funds by Jan. 29, 2010, but he never returned any of the money, court documents state.

Then-Issaquah Detective Amy Spadaro contacted Mulwa about the case. He said he knew the money had been transferred from the reserve account, but he could not say how the funds ended up in his business’ account, court documents said. He suggested a bookkeeping mistake as a possible reason for the transfer.

“Mulwa continued to advise Detective Spadaro that he did not know or have any recollection of how this unauthorized transaction had occurred,” court documents state.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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