Former Hilton Head POA Treasurer Convicted for $200K Fraud

A former treasurer of a Hilton Head Property Owners Association (POA) will avoid jail time with a three-month probation term after being caught embezzling over $200,000 from the association’s reserve accounts. Restitution has been paid. 

Without any auditing catching her, the woman went unnoticed, and she stole more than four years’ worth of community funding.

On June 6, Patricia Butville, 69, admitted she committed two fraud felonies. According to the court records of Beaufort County, she made restitution and repaid around $220,000 to the POA.

Two months after learning of the treasurer’s massive fraud in April 2023, other board members notified citizens in writing. The letter claimed that beginning in December 2018, Butville secretly sent herself checks while concealing the inconsistencies by manipulating financial reports.

The non-audited reserve accounts of the Broad Pointe POA, which were utilized for substantial projects such as repairs and monies for natural catastrophe insurance, were signed by Butville alone. Following the revelation of the misappropriation, the board of directors entrusted the Indigo Run Association, whose books have undergone thorough auditing, with the responsibility of overseeing the financial reports.

Based on earlier reports, POA leadership initially chose not to press criminal charges that summer as Butville had reportedly repaid more than $150,000 by July’s end. Additionally, she was obligated to repay the funds by the conclusion of June 2024 as per the terms of her confession.

However, against the board members’ wishes, Butville was arrested in early December following the discovery of an extra $22,000 in missing money.

According to court filings, Butville initially made an improper withdrawal of $8,000 from the POA on December 12, 2018. At the time, she was not a board member and should not have had access to the reserve account. From that point on, she would withdraw between $90 and $15,000 once or twice a month.

From 2012 to 2013, Butville was the board’s secretary; in 2014, she was president; however, she did not hold any leadership roles from 2015 to 2018. Starting in 2019, her new term as treasurer would continue until her resignation in 2023.