Former Cabr Exec Charged With Theft

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Former Payson resident Raven Burlando charged with fraudulent schemes and theft for allegedly stealing more than $250,000 from the Central Arizona Board of Realtors is scheduled to enter a plea Wednesday in Gila County Superior Court in Payson.

"She's scheduled for a ... plea hearing, and with no agreements (between the defense and the prosecution), the judge could sentence her to jail time," Gila County Attorney Jim Hazel said. "Both charges are felonies."

Burlando, who was the Central Arizona Board of Realtors executive officer when money was found missing last year from CABR accounts, quickly became the Payson Police Department's prime suspect.

The Central Arizona Board of Realtors is an independent organization that maintains a multiple listing service and provides services for Rim country real estate professionals.

CABR President Jill Morgan said money was found missing from the organization's accounts in April 2000, when a supplier notified her that a check had bounced. When she asked the bank about the overdraft, she discovered that someone had been making large withdrawals.

It was just the tip of the iceberg, police said. Payson Police Det. Chris Haack spent the next few months following a paper trail. After tracing it back several years, he found that more than $250,000 had been pilfered from the organization.

Burlando resigned her position, and has been living in Mesa, awaiting the outcome of the investigation.

Commissioner David Colby will preside over Burlando's plea hearing Wednesday in Payson.

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