Second co-op embezzler gets three years

By: Nico Rubello | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published January 16, 2013


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The second of two women who embezzled thousands of dollars from a Clinton Township townhouse cooperative was sentenced Jan. 8 to between 38 months and 15 years in prison.

Erin Michelle Scanlon, 36, had pleaded guilty Oct. 17 in Macomb County Circuit Court to a charge of embezzling between $50,000 and $100,000 while working as the assistant property manager at Clinton Cooperative. The cooperative is located near the intersection of Harper Avenue and Shook Road.

Scanlon also was sentenced to repay $79,422.86 in restitution.

Scanlon was reportedly embezzling by writing cooperative checks to herself, using the money on personal, day-to-day living expenses.

Scanlon’s crimes were discovered after accountants found records of the checks while preparing for a forensic audit. The audit had been called in after it was discovered that Karen Westerfield, the former property manager under who Scanlon had been working, had been embezzling.

The forensic audit eventually showed that Westerfield, 62, alone embezzled more than $200,000 between August 2010 and August 2011.

Westerfield was later convicted and sentenced to one year in prison for the crime. On Dec. 27, that jail sentence was reduced, and she is scheduled for release on Jan. 24, according to the Macomb County Jail.

Scanlon, who shares a child with Westerfield’s son, has a previous conviction of insurance fraud. Because Westerfield hired her, knowing of her felony conviction, the co-op’s bond insurance declined to reimburse the funds Scanlon embezzled.

Attorneys representing Scanlon and Westerfield could not be reached for comment, as of press time.