Truckee rental firm partner taken into custody | SierraSun.com

Truckee rental firm partner taken into custody

Jenny Goldsmith
Sierra Sun

A former partner of Truckee-based Vacation Property Management pleaded not guilty to 46 counts of felony grand theft Monday.

Lori Koester, former Tahoe Donner resident and co-owner of Vacation Property Management, was taken into custody, booked and released at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Monday morning after she surrendered herself to the Nevada County Superior Court.

Koester and her former business partner, Dean A. Clark, were expected to be arraigned in February, but had vanished until recently when Nevada County Deputy District Attorney Bill Cornell received a phone call from a Sacramento-based defense attorney stating he would surrender Koester.

The Truckee Police Department narrowed Koester’s whereabouts down to Las Vegas, and Cornell said he believes Koester turned herself in because she was so “close to getting caught.”

During the court proceedings Monday, Nevada County Judge Robert L. Tamietti asked Koester to submit her passport and permanent address ” Liberty Lake, Wash. ” to the court to prevent her from disappearing again, Cornell said.

Despite Koester’s appearance there is still no information on Clark’s whereabouts, he said.

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“We will continue all efforts to get Dean Clark before the court,” Cornell said Monday after the proceedings.

This was Koester’s first appearance in court since she and Clark were charged with approximately $100,000 of grand theft in the spring of 2007.

Last May, Truckee property owners and ski lease tenants complained about the company’s business practices saying the rental firm had not paid them for rental fees or security deposits.

The original list of potential victims was approximately 100 clients, but Cornell has since dropped some cases to focus on claims involving a substantial amount of money, from $1,000 to $10,000.

“We’re always hopeful we can get restitution, but the chances are small,” Cornell said. “The big unresolved question is where did the money go.”

A bondsman was standing by to post bail for Koester after she was booked with a $30,000 bond. She is set to appear in court again on June 10 for a pretrial hearing.