Man arrested in embezzlement case | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Man arrested in embezzlement case

William Ferchland

A former manager responsible for collecting rent money at Tahoe Shores Mobile Home Park was arrested last week after an investigation found he allegedly stole more than $102,000, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department reported.

Steven Paul Kolesnik, 43, was taken into custody at his South Lake Tahoe home last Wednesday after Tahoe Township Justice Court Judge Richard Glasson signed a warrant for his arrest on a felony theft charge.

Kolesnik made the $15,000 bail that day. He is scheduled to appear in El Dorado County Superior Court, where the process of transferring his case to Douglas County will begin.

Kolesnik did not return phone calls. A lone felony theft charge has maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, $10,000 in fines and possible restitution fees.

The investigation began over the summer when Thomas Castaneda, owner of the Stateline mobile home park at the end of Kahle Drive, contacted Douglas County authorities on the possible embezzlement of rent money.

In May, Kolesnik reportedly faxed a deposit slip to Castaneda’s office for $9,800. Bank records stated the money was never deposited. Tenants vowed they paid their rent and showed proof such as receipts or signed letters or affidavits, according to an investigative report.

When Castaneda approached Kolesnik on the slip and another missing deposit for $1,400, Kolesnik admitted to losing the $1,400 deposit but did not know why the other was lost, the report stated.

Castaneda then told Kolesnik he would have his job until the end of July. Kolesnik then worked for four months as an advertising representative at the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

The missing slips provoked Castaneda to do a tally on the potential for more missing money. Initially $21,000 was presumed gone but a review by an accountant discovered the missing rent was $102,575, nearly five times the first amount, the report stated. Castaneda believed the span of theft was from July 2003 to August 2004.

Investigator Rick Brown said it was the largest embezzlement-type case he’s worked on.

When contacted by investigators, Kolesnik’s ex-wife Donna Loscar stated the two divorced in 1998.

Loscar said Kolesnik owed between $5,000 and $10,000 in child support money for their two teenage children but felt it easier to avoid contacting social services and dealing with her ex-husband.

Contacted on Tuesday, Loscar said she was concerned of the case’s affect on their children.

“He’s just someone the kids looked up to and it’s really a shock to them,” she said. “I’m just really disappointed.”

In another case that reached a conclusion last month, Douglas County authorities estimated a team of five, including one employee, embezzled $1.6 million from Harveys Resort and Casino between Dec. 31, 2002 and June 1, 2003. Most of the money has not been accounted for, officials said.

– E-mail William Ferchland at wferchland@tahoedailytribune.com


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