A Chester County man has admitted embezzling $1.8 million from nearly two dozen homeowners associations throughout the Philadelphia region between 2017 and 2018.
William Huyler III, 41, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges including theft by deception, forgery, and tampering with records in a hearing before Chester County Judge Anne Marie Wheatcraft. His sentencing in the case was deferred 90 days, though District Attorney Deborah Ryan said Huyler faces “significant” time in state prison.
Huyler’s attorney, Lee Anthony Ciccarelli, declined to comment.
A resident of East Marlborough Township, Huyler promoted himself as an experienced property manager when soliciting clients. Investigators said his company, East Hill Property Management, was hired by homeowners associations in Montgomery and Chester Counties, as well as South Jersey and Kent County, Del., to manage their business accounts between January 2017 and January 2018.
Over the course of that year, Huyler used a variety of strategies to secretly steal $1.8 million, and commingled the associations’ money with funds in his personal bank accounts, according to court records. Part of his scheme involved shuffling money among bank accounts from different associations to help cover his withdrawals.
Huyler “went to great lengths to hide his activity” from the associations’ boards, according to the affidavit of probable cause for his arrest. He forged bank statements, changed account names, and doctored books and records to create a “false impression that the [associations’] money was being maintained properly,” the affidavit said.
When questioned by detectives, the affidavit said, Huyler admitted that he created fake documents to give to one association in East Goshen Township when its members asked to see information about the bank accounts. He was finally caught when the association contacted county investigators about the discrepancies in the bank accounts.
“Thousands of unsuspecting homeowners hired this defendant through their homeowners associations to perform a service,” Ryan said Wednesday. “Instead, he blatantly stole from them to perpetuate his fraudulent lifestyle and, in the process, broke people’s trust.”