Enumclaw Friendship House manager guilty on one count of second degree theft

Jamie M. Casteel, the former manager of the Friendship House located in Enumclaw, was found guilty of second degree theft in King County Superior Court March 31.

Jamie M. Casteel, the former manager of the Friendship House located in Enumclaw, was found guilty of second degree theft in King County Superior Court March 31.

The Friendship House is a home for developmentally disabled adults. The four male adults living in the residence own the home.

Casteel was also sentenced to 60 days of confinement with 30 days, or 240 hours, of the confinement converted to community restitution and the other 30 in work/education release.

She is to have no contact with the Friendship House, including the staff or residents. The document also stated Casteel, “agrees not to seek or maintain any employment in (the) home health care field.”

Casteel was initially charged with first-degree theft and arraigned Oct. 1, 2015. She was represented by Maple Valley attorney Abraham Ritter.

The probable cause document stated Casteel, “wrongfully deprived Friendship House itself of money (property) by depositing business monies into her own personal bank account(s). It can also be shown that Casteel wrongfully deprived all four Friendship House clients of money (property) by depositing their personal money (property) from the house Mortgage Account into her own personal account.”

According to the court documents the four men’s names are on the mortgage agreement along with house bills and utility statements. The parents or legal guardians make up the Friendship House Board of Directors.

The theft was reported by the staff to the Enumclaw Police Department June 4, 2015.

According to the court documents after the staff contacted the police department, Enumclaw detectives investigated the four account ledgers and received a search warrant for Casteel’s personal bank account. The investigation revealed Casteel had written checks to herself from the client’s accounts and either deposited them into her U.S. Bank account or cashed them at the bank.

Casteel voluntarily came into the department for an interview with the detective. In the court document the detective wrote Casteel “admitted to taking money from Friendship House. Casteel admitted to writing checks to herself and depositing them into her personal account. Casteel did not offer a reason as to why she did this other than she was living beyond her means at the time and found she had easy access to Friendship House money.”

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