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Business Observer Friday, Jul. 10, 2015 6 years ago

Ex-resort manager to begin three-year prison term

Judy Paul was convicted in July 2013 on charges of grand theft of more than $100,000.

Judy Paul, a former manager at a Longboat Key resort convicted of fraud charges two years ago, has been ordered to begin serving a three-year prison sentence she originally received in September 2013.

Paul, 51, was convicted in July 2013 on charges of grand theft of more than $100,000 in Sand Cay Homeowners Association funds and of scheming to defraud in the amount of $50,000 or more. The charges stem from a series of checks that totaled more than $200,000 Paul allegedly deposited into her personal account when she worked at Sand Cay, 60-unit resort complex on Longboat Key.

Circuit Court Judge Thomas Krug ordered Paul to pay $200,000 restitution to Sand Cay as part of his 2013 order, which also includes 10 years of probation that follows her prison sentence. Paul, who has no previous criminal record, has been appealing the order for the last two years. The Second District Court of Appeals affirmed her 2013 conviction June 3.

Paul, who was living with her parents during the appeal process on a $100,000 bond, was scheduled to surrender July 1, according to a story in the Longboat Observer, sister paper of the Business Observer. When she didn't surrender, Circuit Judge Susan Maulucci ordered a warrant for Paul's arrest. Paul surrendered July 7, claiming she didn't surrender as scheduled because she attempted suicide and has a myriad of health issues, the Longboat Observer reports. Maulucci ordered her to the Manatee County Jail medical unit before she's transferred to prison.

Paul was fired in 2010 after a 2009 audit revealed financial inconsistencies. When confronted, she insisted she had a verbal agreement with the board's treasurer, which police say records didn't support. Prosecutors originally sought a 10-year sentence followed by 20 years of probation.

Three Sand Cay members testified for the state during the 2013 hearing, noting Paul wrote the first check to herself just seven days after she was hired. Paul's purchases with Sand Cay money included spa treatments, Victoria's Secret items, custom accessories for her Corvette and plane tickets for her family.

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