It was recently learned that on Dec. 1, 2013, Karen Lynne Epperly-Sundsten, 49, of Fern Valley was arrested on charges of embezzlement. Charges filed were grand theft and forgery, with statutory sentencing enhancements of (1) fraud and embezzlement and (2) taking, damaging or destroying property of more than $65,000 in value.
The victim was Community Lumber in Idyllwild. The theft apparently took place over a number of years.
On March 21, the Riverside County district attorney filed a felony complaint against Epperly-Sundsten alleging that she took more than $65,000. On April 17, the district attorney filed an amended felony complaint alleging that she took more than $100,000, and that she had signed checks by forging the signature of one of the owners of the company.
On Aug. 1, before her preliminary hearing, Epperly-Sundsten pleaded guilty to both the grand theft and the forgery charges and admitted the truth of the two enhancements. She was convicted on her guilty pleas and the enhancements were found true. By statute, the enhancements provide another sentence of at least one year to be served consecutively to the sentence on the charges.
Sentencing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 19, in Department S204 of the Riverside County Superior Court in Murrieta.
Karin and Richard Greenwood, owners of Community Lumber, released the following statement to the Town Crier: “We’ve been blessed to build a strong and successful business serving our friends and neighbors on the Hill for the past 35 years. We look forward to continuing to provide our community with the quality building materials and experienced advice for which we’ve become a trusted resource. We have lived our lives from a place of trust and will continue to do so.”