The Smith County Sheriff's Office is investigating an
employee of the Hideaway Lake community for possibly taking kickbacks.
The Hideaway Board of Directors held a meeting tonight at
their clubhouse in Smith County, just northwest of Tyler, to discuss the
We started hearing about the investigation after the Smith
County Sheriff's Office was seen searching the Hideaway Lake administration
building on July 29th.
The affidavit for the search warrant shows detectives were
searching the building for evidence of an employee stealing from the club. It
also shows the Hideaway Lake board president, Bud Wilson, and the board's vice
president, Jerry Troon, told the Smith County Sheriff's Office about kickbacks
being paid to one of the club's employees.
The affidavit states invoices for a tree vendor at the club
were filed for trees he never cut.
In the affidavit the vendor says he was paying the club's maintenance
supervisor, Chris Meador, and one of Meador's friends kickbacks for cutting
The vendor says he started paying a 20% kickback to the men
back in 2011, and that increased to a 50% kickback in 2013. He says on several
occasions the men came with him to cash his check and immediately requested
their share of the money.
The affidavit shows the invoices for the former tree vendor
were always signed by Meador or the club's general manager, Dennis Godoy.
The board's vice president says when he started
investigating the kickbacks, Godoy cut off all access to their invoices and
The affidavit states the club's assistant general manager
heard about the kickbacks and told Godoy. She states Godoy never did anything
The Smith County Sheriff's Office is still investigating
this case and the board says Sheriff Larry Smith confirmed the FBI is involved.
Residents at the meeting did not want to go on camera but
said they just wanted justice to be served.
This is not the first time an employee of Hideaway Lake Club
has been under investigation.
In 2005, Fonda Reeves, a member of the Hideaway Lake Club
office staff, was found guilty of stealing more than $425,000 from the club.
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 18:09:07 GMT
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