Rouse repays $350,000 she's accused of embezzling

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comNovember 12, 2012 

— Police have not said how much money Susan P. Rouse embezzled from Nicholls & Crampton, but court records show she has repaid $350,000 to the Raleigh law firm where she was employed.

For years, she was a volunteer and board member for Hospice of Wake County. She was employed as the office manager for Nicholls & Crampton, 3700-500 Glenwood Ave.

Now, Rouse, 64, of 6520 Wynbrook Way, remains in custody at the Wake County jail since Friday when she turned herself in on charges of felony embezzlement in excess of $100,000. Her bail is set at $50,000, court records show.

“We are shocked and disappointed about the events leading up to her arrest,” Timothy Nicholls, a partner in the firm, said Monday. He confirmed that Rouse had paid back $350,000, but declined to say how much she is suspected of skimming from the firm.

Rouse became the target of a police investigation in mid-October, police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

Sughrue said investigators believe she began taking money from the law firm July 16, 2003, and continued until Oct. 5, according to an arrest warrant filed at the Wake County Magistrate’s Office.

In 2009, Hospice of Wake County paid tribute to Rouse’s work as a longtime fundraiser and board member by naming part of its home at 205 Hospice Circle, the Susan P. Rouse Administrative and Community Services Center.

Darcy Dye, a spokeswoman for Hospice of Wake County said Monday the agency “will do what is right as far as the naming of the building now that we know what we know.”

John Thoma, chief executive officer of Wake County Hospice, announced over the weekend that Rouse had already resigned as both a member of the agency’s Board of Directors and the hospice’s foundation.

Thoma said the agency is saddened over the allegations against Rouse, and emphasized that the allegations are “completely outside of her relationship with Hospice of Wake County and Hospice of Wake County’s Foundation.”

Rouse’s first court appearance is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday, a jail spokesman reported.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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