Santa Barbara retirement community staffer suspected of embezzlement

SANTA BARBARA — Following a yearlong investigation into the workplace activities of a prominent local retirement community’s billing clerk and occasional bookkeeper, Santa Barbara police arrested Norma Fay White, 60, this week.

Norma Fay White

White is alleged to have conducted financial irregularities and elder abuse while on the job at Samarkand Retirement Community, employment from which she was terminated 14 months ago.

In February 2009, Samarkand’s chief executive director removed White from her position and contacted local authorities to report certain bookkeeping anomalies with respect to the private funds of community residents that had come to his attention. Once police were made aware of her employer’s suspicions, White’s record-keeping fell under the close scrutiny of fraud investigator Det. Rashun Drayton.

Drayton’s investigation revealed that White had established a relationship with an elderly community member, and that this resident had recently had in excess of $300,000 removed from personal accounts to which White would not, in the course of her employment, have access.

Police spokesman Lt. Paul McCaffrey indicated that White had, according to the evidence now in hand, made a habit of cashing personal checks drawn on her 79-year-old victim’s account — a clear violation of fiduciary responsibility as well as the scope of her employment duties that establishes felonious intent to commit fraud and financial elder abuse.

Pursuant to the accumulation of evidence by police investigators, White was arrested at her home in Lompoc and booked at Santa Barbara County Jail. Further charges are pending the result of ongoing investigation into the financial records of a number of Samarkand residents with whom White had personal contact.


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