LA QUINTA – It starts in 1993 when Sharon Schumaier was arrested for embezzling $40,000 from State Farm Insurance where she worked. In 1995, she pleaded guilty to a felony. Her sentence: house arrest, one year wearing an electronic bracelet.
But the electronic monitoring company says that she unplugged her bracelet. That landed her in court again.
Schumaier told her parole agent the bracelet was “a hassle.” Her family wrote letters to the judge asking for a reduced sentence, speaking of her as a devoted mother.
Schumaier told the judge through a letter that she suffers from manic-depression and is getting treatment. She claims it’s not an excuse for her crimes but an explanation.
Her probation counselors wrote Schumaier “may have stolen to support her child with a serious illness.”
Even with her sentence brought down to a misdemeanor level, Schumaier struck again. She was found guilty in 1997 of forgery in Los Angeles County court. As of 2002, court documents show she still had $41,868 left to pay State Farm Insurance and Orange County to make up the money she stole. We do not know at this time if she ever paid the full amount she owed.
Schumaier moved to the Desert shortly after finishing probation. Sharon co-owns Desert Cities Automotive in Indio with her husband, Jeff.
Schumaier became La Quinta’s AYSO Commissioner in 2006. But, when other AYSO board members recently wondered what happened to $108,000, detectives raided Schumaier’s home and business. They confiscated computers and documents.
The AYSO says their basic background check through Lexis Nexis Choicepoint did not turn up the fact Schumaier pleaded guilty to felony embezzling.
We found her coming out of her attorney’s office in Palm Desert and ask her as she quickly walks to her van, “Sharon Schumaier. Did you tell the AYSO you were a convicted felon before you handled all their money?”
“No comment,” was her reply.
We asked, “Did you tell the AYSO about what happened in 95, 96?”
Schumaier said again, “No comment.”
When was asked, “any explanation?” she closed her minivan door and drove away.
Sharon Schumaier has not been charged with any AYSO embezzlement at this time, despite the police raids on her home and business. Her attorney says it’s too early to speak on the record.