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Accounting and accountability awry in I.B.

“He did not [withdraw the funds] deliberately; he did it by mistake.”

The Schaumburgs' office at 862 Seacoast Drive. After being closed for several weeks, the office is now sometimes open with other employees at the desk.
The Schaumburgs' office at 862 Seacoast Drive. After being closed for several weeks, the office is now sometimes open with other employees at the desk.

For over 20 years, real estate managers Richard and Cheryl Schaumburg have been a well-respected couple in Imperial Beach, with their photos on placards posted in front of properties that they managed listing them as agents of the national real estate franchise Coldwell Banker. But the Schaumburgs have recently become more or less infamous.

Shaumburg lawsuit list

The Schaumburgs as well as their property-management company are the subject of over two dozen civil lawsuits in San Diego courts. Last December, their office was picketed by angry citizens who carried signs that read, “Schaumburgs Steal Rent,” based on allegations that the couple failed to correctly transfer funds between renters and property owners.

Withdrawals allegedly made by Richard Schaumburg

Now, Christine LaPausky, a former Imperial Beach Chamber of Commerce boardmember, has named Richard Schaumburg as the boardmember who made an "unauthorized withdrawal" of $35,000 from the chamber’s Chase Bank account in February. At the time, Richard Schaumburg served as treasurer for the chamber. Cheryl Schaumburg confirmed that it was her husband who made the withdrawal in the case that is being handled by the Financial Crimes Unit of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

The chamber announced the unauthorized withdrawal in a press release in June without naming any boardmembers. On September 25, Sgt. Joe Ellis of the sheriff’s department confirmed that the case is still under criminal investigation.

However, both LaPausky and Cheryl Schaumburg say it was all an accident.

“He did not [withdraw the funds] deliberately; he did it by mistake,” said LaPausky, who was on the I.B. chamber board in June. “He's getting up there in age.”

LaPausky said that when Richard Schaumburg went into the bank and asked how much money he had in his accounts, the bank teller mistakenly gave him the figures for the chamber’s account as well as his other accounts and he mistakenly withdrew the money that way. Two days later, “The chamber accounts were bouncing,” she said, but “it wasn't fraud and it wasn't embezzlement.”

The chamber said in June that some of the money had been returned but there was still $19,500 missing. The organization’s spokesperson, Candy Unger, confirmed that the $19,500 remains unreturned, though she declined to confirm Richard Schaumburg was the person who withdrew the funds.

“I don't think they are in the position to pay the money back,” LaPausky said.

"There’s nothing to tell. The bank screwed up,” Cheryl Schaumburg said when asked about any recent developments in the situation. “He went into the bank and the bank gave him money from the wrong account." When asked about returning the money, she said she did not have time to talk further.

Unger said it’s a bit odd having the chamber of commerce office located right next to the Schaumburgs’ real estate office now.

“Considering that everyone comes in here that needs money from them,” Unger said, "yeah, very awkward. This used to be their office. We're even painted the same.”

Disclosure: This reporter rented an Imperial Beach apartment through the Schaumburgs in 2012; the apartment turned out to be in the middle of foreclosure, leading to a cancelation of the lease soon after. At the time, Cheryl Schaumburg said it was done in error.

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The Schaumburgs' office at 862 Seacoast Drive. After being closed for several weeks, the office is now sometimes open with other employees at the desk.
The Schaumburgs' office at 862 Seacoast Drive. After being closed for several weeks, the office is now sometimes open with other employees at the desk.

For over 20 years, real estate managers Richard and Cheryl Schaumburg have been a well-respected couple in Imperial Beach, with their photos on placards posted in front of properties that they managed listing them as agents of the national real estate franchise Coldwell Banker. But the Schaumburgs have recently become more or less infamous.

Shaumburg lawsuit list

The Schaumburgs as well as their property-management company are the subject of over two dozen civil lawsuits in San Diego courts. Last December, their office was picketed by angry citizens who carried signs that read, “Schaumburgs Steal Rent,” based on allegations that the couple failed to correctly transfer funds between renters and property owners.

Withdrawals allegedly made by Richard Schaumburg

Now, Christine LaPausky, a former Imperial Beach Chamber of Commerce boardmember, has named Richard Schaumburg as the boardmember who made an "unauthorized withdrawal" of $35,000 from the chamber’s Chase Bank account in February. At the time, Richard Schaumburg served as treasurer for the chamber. Cheryl Schaumburg confirmed that it was her husband who made the withdrawal in the case that is being handled by the Financial Crimes Unit of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

The chamber announced the unauthorized withdrawal in a press release in June without naming any boardmembers. On September 25, Sgt. Joe Ellis of the sheriff’s department confirmed that the case is still under criminal investigation.

However, both LaPausky and Cheryl Schaumburg say it was all an accident.

“He did not [withdraw the funds] deliberately; he did it by mistake,” said LaPausky, who was on the I.B. chamber board in June. “He's getting up there in age.”

LaPausky said that when Richard Schaumburg went into the bank and asked how much money he had in his accounts, the bank teller mistakenly gave him the figures for the chamber’s account as well as his other accounts and he mistakenly withdrew the money that way. Two days later, “The chamber accounts were bouncing,” she said, but “it wasn't fraud and it wasn't embezzlement.”

The chamber said in June that some of the money had been returned but there was still $19,500 missing. The organization’s spokesperson, Candy Unger, confirmed that the $19,500 remains unreturned, though she declined to confirm Richard Schaumburg was the person who withdrew the funds.

“I don't think they are in the position to pay the money back,” LaPausky said.

"There’s nothing to tell. The bank screwed up,” Cheryl Schaumburg said when asked about any recent developments in the situation. “He went into the bank and the bank gave him money from the wrong account." When asked about returning the money, she said she did not have time to talk further.

Unger said it’s a bit odd having the chamber of commerce office located right next to the Schaumburgs’ real estate office now.

“Considering that everyone comes in here that needs money from them,” Unger said, "yeah, very awkward. This used to be their office. We're even painted the same.”

Disclosure: This reporter rented an Imperial Beach apartment through the Schaumburgs in 2012; the apartment turned out to be in the middle of foreclosure, leading to a cancelation of the lease soon after. At the time, Cheryl Schaumburg said it was done in error.

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Comments
4

They sure make a lot of mistakes/errors/mistaken withdrawals. Blame it on Alzheimer's and move on. Heh, heh.

Oct. 2, 2015

If it was an honest mistake, then what is the problem with simply returning the money? If the money cannot be returned immediately, then it is embezzlement... not a mistake. Why can't people take personal responsibility anymore? The DRE should be notified and the Schaumburg's real estate licenses should be suspended or revoked.

Oct. 3, 2015

"LaPausky said that when Richard Schaumburg went into the bank and asked how much money he had in his accounts, the bank teller mistakenly gave him the figures for the chamber’s account as well as his other accounts and he mistakenly withdrew the money that way. Two days later, “The chamber accounts were bouncing,” she said, but “it wasn't fraud and it wasn't embezzlement.”

So the money was returned immediately... right? Oh, wait, that was another "mistake", he spent it by accident, and now doesn't have it any more, and he's really sorry but it isn't his fault and there's nothing he can do?

Oct. 4, 2015

Maybe they went to Vegas and blew it all in less than a week. I mean, people do that, don't they? And they make mistakes, especially if they are mistakes that can be blamed on a bank teller. Well, if it wasn't fraud or embezzlement, then the bank is at fault, and should make the chamber whole again. But it doesn't come across as if that's the case. Soooo, the transaction was dirty.

Let's remember this is Imperial Beach, and what happens there stays there.

Oct. 4, 2015

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