A woman accused of embezzling more than $300,000 from a retirement home in Denton awaits possible extradition from a Colorado jail cell, according to authorities.
Police in Aurora, Colorado, arrested 44-year-old Lisa Rene McMaster on Jan. 23 on a Denton County warrant for theft of more than $300,000 from a nonprofit, said Julie Brooks, a spokeswoman for the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office. McMaster, a former Aubrey resident, has been locked up in Arapahoe County Jail without bail.
Brooks said she did not know specifically where McMaster was arrested in Colorado.
A Denton County grand jury indicted McMaster on the charge in December after she initially was accused of stealing close to $400,000 from Good Samaritan Society-Denton Village, where she worked as an office manager during a four-year period. It's unclear when she moved to Colorado.
Her lawyer, Denton attorney Tim Powers, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Good Samaritan is a long-term care center that offers independent housing, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing services. The 27-acre Denton Village campus, in the 2500 block of Hinkle Drive, includes an 88-bed nursing home for residents who need skilled care. It also includes about 60 duplexes and 170 apartments for independent seniors.
The missing funds
Officials at the Denton County Sheriff's Office said they have started the extradition process. They are waiting to see whether McMaster waives extradition and voluntarily agrees to return to Texas, according to Capt. Jeff Davis, who oversees special operations at the sheriff's office.
If McMaster doesn't waive extradition, the Denton County District Attorney's Office will prepare an extradition warrant to transfer her out of Colorado.
Meanwhile, the Good Samaritan Society continues to cooperate with investigators.
"Our services to residents have not been impacted by this incident, and we will not provide public comment during an ongoing investigation," said Aaron Woods, a spokesman for the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, which owns both Good Samaritan Society locations in Denton.
McMaster is facing a first-degree felony theft charge, which carries a maximum punishment of life in prison if convicted.
Denton police said the alleged embezzlement started on April 26, 2013, and continued through March 1, 2017. McMaster primarily used checks and credit cards to pay for personal expenses, including rent, car payments and tickets to at least one football game, according to Shane Kizer, a Denton Police Department spokesman.
McMaster also used the money to make tuition payments at a university in Arkansas, Kizer said. She paid the university close to $20,000 from September 2013 to December 2015, he added. A police detective was able to prove through account records that she embezzled at least $345,303 in four years, according to a Denton police report.
McMaster was placed on administrative leave March 10 after a preliminary internal audit revealed at least $90,000 missing from company funds.
Denton police were notified on March 16, when an attorney representing Good Samaritan filed a theft report. At the time, an internal auditor at Good Sam had not completed the review, so Denton police decided to put the investigation on hold until the final results were released.
After the detective received the final audit results in mid-September, police issued numerous subpoenas and search warrants for multiple account records and transaction receipts, according to Kizer.
Denton police interviewed the suspect Sept. 29, Kizer said. McMaster was with Powers during the interview and acknowledged misappropriating "some of the money in question," according to a Denton police report. However, the suspect couldn't agree on the amount with investigators, the report said.
The case eventually was turned over to the Denton County District Attorney's Office, which filed the charges at large.
According to Denton County Appraisal District records, McMaster bought a home in Aubrey in August 2016 in the 1100 block of Broken Wheel Trail.
She has been convicted of three counts of credit card abuse in Collin County for incidents dating to June 2007, records show.
JULIAN GILL can be reached at 940-566-6882.