Friday June 7, 2013

KEITH WHITCOMB JR.

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- An insurance company is accusing a Manchester woman of misappropriating $23,000 from the rental property management company she worked for as chief financial officer.

The complaint was filed in Bennington Superior Court Civil Division on May 23 by Burlington attorney Philip C. Woodward on behalf of Middlesex Mutual Assurance Company, which is registered out of Connecticut. According to the complaint, Middlesex Mutual Assurance Company provided insurance coverage to TPW Management, LLC, whose chief financial officer at the time of the alleged misappropriations was Catherine G. Eucker.

Eucker is the only entity listed as a defendant in the case, and as of Thursday had not filed a response with the court.

The suit accuses Eucker of misusing company funds in four ways: She misused company credit cards to benefit herself by $14,827. She included her personal vehicle in a trade-in for company vehicles, causing TPW to lose $7,109. Eucker wrote a check to herself on behalf of the company for $1,200, and she paid $800 of company money to a youth hockey league without permission.

The suit alleged Eucker also signed documents as though she were the company secretary, and forged employee signatures on company credit cards.

According to Woodward, TPW filed an insurance claim with Middlesex Mutual Assurance Company, and the claim was paid. The complaint accuses Eucker of fraud, conversion, negligence, and negligent misrepresentation, and requests the court award the insurance company the $23,936 plus any interest, fees, and punitive damages the court deems fit.

Calls to Woodward’s law firm, Woodward and Kelly, PLLC, were not returned Thursday, nor was a call to a number listed in the phone book under Eucker’s name.

A person who answered the phone at TPW said Eucker no longer works there.

The court file contains a hand written letter that appears to be signed by Eucker. It reads in part "I do not dispute the fact that I charged personal items on TPW’s corporate credit cards."

The letter states Eucker decreased her compensation to cover the value of the vehicle trade-in, as well as another time when her personal credit card was declined. "Unfortunately, I was not employed long enough to fully repay purchases and I will absolutely pay TPW back for the charges," reads part of the letter. "To say this has been a difficult year is an understatement and I take full responsibility for my financial situation and the consequences of my actions. I am truly sorry for my actions, truly I am."

The suit also contains a motion for a writ of attachment on Eucker’s home, which in April had a foreclosure complaint filed against it by Merchants Bank.

There is no record of Eucker being charged in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.