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Ex-property managers plead guilty to rent theft

Posted: February 8, 2012 - 1:06am
Former Airport Mini Mall and Apartments property managers Cheryl L. Hansen and Paul E. Hansen entered a plea of guilty to stealing money from renters at the Airport Mini Mall and Apartments on Glacier Highway.  Michael Penn/Juneau Empire
Michael Penn/Juneau Empire
Former Airport Mini Mall and Apartments property managers Cheryl L. Hansen and Paul E. Hansen entered a plea of guilty to stealing money from renters at the Airport Mini Mall and Apartments on Glacier Highway.

The former property managers of Airport Mini Mall and Apartments pleaded guilty on Monday to a reduced charge of second-degree theft for failing to deposit the rent checks they collected.

Assistant District Attorney Amy Williams said in court on Monday that the owners of AMMA contacted local police after a review of their bookkeeping found there was a discrepancy between the amount of rent collected and the amount deposited into AMMA’s bank account. A more careful review of the books by the ledgers of the organization determined that the amounts deposited were slightly less than the amounts collected beginning in November 2009 and that the discrepancy increased over time through May and June of 2010 when there were no deposits made at all.

“Finally, those deposits dried up altogether,” Williams said, adding, “The total amount missing (for those two months) was $68,000 — about $35,000 per month of May and June 2010.”

The Juneau couple, Cheryl L. Hansen, 67, and Paul E. Hansen, 63, were hired as property managers in 2001, and worked there for about nine years while living in the manager’s house. It was their responsibility to collect rent and deposit it into the AMMA account, Williams said. When contacted by JPD, the Hansen’s acknowledged that the deposits had not been made.

They claimed they had the money, but it couldn’t be located upon a search by police, Williams said.

Both Hansens were indicted in November and initially faced one count each of first-degree theft, a class ‘B’ felony that can carry up to 10 years in jail, with a presumptive range of one to three years for first time offenders.

In a plea deal that was reached with prosecutors, they both pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree theft, a class ‘C’ felony that can carry up to five years in jail.

The presumptive sentencing range for that charge is zero to two years for first time offenders.

The plea deal calls for 24 months of jail time with 24 months suspended, meaning there’s no jail time to serve, and for three years of unsupervised probation.

The agreement also requires the Hansen’s to admit to the “most serious” sentencing aggravator, which means the state would not be obligated to prove that their conduct was the most serious type of theft for that category since they are admitting it.

The Hansens will also be required to pay restitution to AMMA once that amount is determined in the sentencing hearing and to write a letter of apology to AMMA.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Louis Menendez scheduled a sentencing hearing for April 5.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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