The man accused of stealing more than $65,000 from a Palo Alto neighborhood association will face felony embezzlement charges, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office said Tuesday (April 12).
Kimball Allen, 29, the former administrative manager of the Greenmeadow Community Association, allegedly used the association's credit card more than 250 times for personal purchases, including hair replacement, a BMW roadster and a personal fitness trainer, Rob Baker, supervising deputy district attorney, said.
Allen, who was hired by the association in 2008, allegedly began ringing up the charges in February 2010, according to court papers.
Over the next 10 or 11 months, he allegedly racked up between $65,000 and $67,000 in expenses on the card, and wrote several association checks for personal purchases.
The transactions included $6,295 for hair replacement; $1,818.07 for an Apple Macbook Pro computer and a Hewlett-Packard printer; $3,480 for personal training at Equinox, an upscale Palo Alto gym, plus $140 monthly membership payments; a $3,000 down payment on a BMW Z3 roadster; $5,215 for an air-conditioning system at a home he owns in Kansas City, Mo.; and multiple charges for air fare, hotel, shopping, entertainment and restaurant purchases for himself and others in Los Angeles, Honolulu, Tacoma, Las Vegas, Kansas City and Mexico, according to the police report.
Allen allegedly even used the Greenmeadow card to make purchases from "Secrets," a Redwood City adult bookstore, according to the police report.
He allegedly transferred a $4,500 balance from his personal credit card to the community association's credit card, police said.
It was "almost like gambling ... or ... a drug," Allen reportedly told police during a March 17 interview.
Nearly two-and-a-half months after he resigned from Greenmeadow to start a gymnastics business in Redwood City, Allen still had the association's credit card in his wallet, police discovered during a search of his Redwood City establishment, ACRO Gymnastics.
Allen allegedly told police that he had unnamed medical issues, which had strained his finances prior to the embezzlement.
He had established a certain "standard of living" and a "taste to continue that," so "to find a vulnerability like that was appealing ... and highly addicting," he told police.
The litany of transactions was like meeting Dickens' "Ghost of Christmas Past," Allen reportedly told police, as he discussed the list of transactions.
Allen was paid a $55,000 annual salary to oversee part-time employees, manage facility maintenance and do daily bookkeeping for Greenmeadow, a south Palo Alto community. Conceived as an all-inclusive community, it has a park, a pool, meeting room and day-care center.
He resigned his position in December 2010 to open his business, but stayed on through January 2011 to help the new manager, Donna Rhoan, with the transition, according to Greenmeadow President Sean Giffen.
Rhoan soon discovered several purchases Allen said he made, but the items had never arrived, she said. Allen did not provide information regarding the purchases. She also found several other irregularities.
Fiona Gersh, Greenmeadow's treasurer, audited the books. She discovered the majority of entries in the association's Quickbooks accounting ledger were fictitious, according to the police report.
Allen allegedly "reconciled" the Quickbooks ledger with credit card statements by inventing fictitious transactions of an equal sum, Gersh told police.
Allen allegedly told police that on two occasions in February 2010 he accidentally used the Greenmeadow card at San Francisco bars instead of his own card. When he discovered his mistake, he offered to repay the money by check but was told by the then-treasurer to repay the expenses by in-kind purchasing of supplies.
In January or February 2010, when his personal finances became strained due to substantial personal medical expenses, he began using the Greenmeadow card for personal purchases, he told police.
Allen said he had "a lot of guilt" about his unauthorized credit card uses. He considered confessing to the board and apologizing, but he assumed it would cause police involvement.
Police offered him the opportunity to write an apology letter to Greenmeadow's board during his March 17 interview, and he eagerly accepted the offer, according to the report.
Allen sat alone in the interview room for about 20 minutes, drafting and redrafting the letter, according to police Detective James Reifschneider.
"The crimes that I have committed are pathetic and hurtful," Allen wrote.
"I got caught up in a vicious cycle of greed, selfishness and deceit. My actions cannot be justified and the worst punishment is my own guilt," he wrote.
Felony embezzlement of more than $60,000 carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison, Baker said.
Santa Clara County Superior Judge Kenneth Barnum signed a $50,000 warrant for Allen's arrest Tuesday afternoon. As of Wednesday morning, Allen had not been apprehended, police said.