WINFIELD -- Rustic Highlands Owners Association is suing a former employee and her husband for fraud after it claims she came into personal possession nearly $100,000 of its funds.

Over the course of several years, Melissa Weiford, either through gross negligence in executing her duties as treasurer or through outright theft, came into personal possession of approximately $98,586 of money belonging to Rustic Highlands, according to a complaint filed March 2 in Putnam Circuit Court.

Rustic Highlands claims due to the fact that its accounts were substantially depleted by Weiford's actions, numerous improvement and maintenance projects were unable to occur.

Weiford's actions were willful, wanton and reckless and caused Rustic Highlands to not be able to do various improvement projects and/or maintenance was not performed and common areas and roads have fallen into disrepair, according to the suit.

Rustic Highlands claims although Weiford's husband, Robert Weiford, was unaware of her actions, he was a beneficiary of its money.

The plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. It is being represented by Jonathan R. Mani.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Phillip Stowers.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 12-C-66

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