Felony complaints filed against rental firm
February 3, 2008
A 46-count felony complaint was filed by Nevada County prosecutors Thursday against the owner of Truckee-based Vacation Property Management.
Former Tahoe Donner residents and owners of VPM, Dean A. Clark and Lori Koerster, are expected to be arraigned in February on all 46-counts of felony grand theft, said Deputy District Attorney Bill Cornell.
“Unfortunately, the losses so far are in excess of $100,000,” Cornell said Friday.
In early May 2007, Cornell filed six felony charges against Clark when clients complained that checks issued by the company bounced. But the indictment was put “on hold” while Clark tried to make good on the bad checks.
Clark’s attorney, Peter Tiemann of Placerville, told investigators that the bounced checks were the result of an honest mistake with the company’s bank accounts. When Clark later covered the checks, the district attorney’s office dropped the felony charges.
But investigators continued to receive complaints about the company’s business practices from homeowners saying the rental firm had not paid them for rental fees, and from tenants who complained they did not receive security deposits back at the end of the ski season. Cornell said most of the allegations involve the 2006-07 ski season.
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“Some victims have been added and dropped off as recently as December,” Cornell said. “But those that did receive payments are not included in the criminal complaint.”
The original list of potential victims was approximately 100 clients, but Cornell said he focused on claims involving a substantial amount of money, from $1,000 to $10,000.
“The Truckee Police Department did a very good job of investigating this case, which included serving search warrants, and investigating computer data,” Cornell said.