Florida Keys

She stole more than $279K from her employer. Now she's off to prison

Yadiris Wood
Yadiris Wood

The former executive of the Key West Association of Realtors was sentenced to five years in prison after she admitted draining the group's bank account of more than a quarter million dollars.

Yadiris Wood, 35, who moved from the Keys to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, during the investigation of the case, pleaded guilty to felony grand theft of over $100,000 in March at the Monroe County Courthouse.

Judge Mark Jones gave her prison time on Thursday, plus 25 years of probation to follow her release.

Jones also ordered Wood to repay $175,035.95 to KWAR plus $35,000 total to the association’s insurance firms.

In the end, she had stolen $279,946 from the group.

"Non-profit organizations like KWAR trust their executives to act in the best interests of their members without regard to profit and personal financial gain," Will Langley, the group's president, said in a statement Thursday night. "This defendant betrayed that trust by using her position to steal money that she should have been safeguarding, a decision that will now lead her into a prison cell."

She was arrested Dec. 1, 2017, nine months after the Realtors group announced her departure in a memo that mentioned "troubling financial discrepancies" had been found.

Almost three years ago, Wood opened an American Express credit card account in KWAR's name and went on to charge $252,710. Some of the money went toward a 2012 Camaro and a 2016 Nissan Frontier pickup. Monthly statements ranged from $6,2.13 to $32,249.

Wood used association money to open two bank accounts and pay for insurance. She wrote two checks to herself, one for $5,000 and the other for $2,500.

Wood abruptly quit the nonprofit, located at 3422 Duck Ave., in an email to the association's president on March 13, 2017, citing personal and medical reasons. She had worked for the group for 11 years and was its executive for five.

When she left, she told the association’s board that the group’s Centennial Bank account had a balance of $190,000 when it had held less than $6,000.

Some of the stolen money was recovered through charge-backs on personal purchases she made with association money, according to the State Attorney's Office.

In 2017, Wood funded KWAR's bank account by cashing in some of the association's certificates of deposits from other banks.

Langley said the nonprofit has installed "safeguards" to prevent anything like this from happening again.