SUWANEE — The former executive director of the Autism Society of America’s Greater Georgia Chapter has been charged with bilking the agency of more than $60,000 in thefts that date back to 2007, police said.
Lawrenceville resident Cynthia “Cindy” Pike, 47, is charged with 16 counts of felony theft by conversion after former coworkers came forward to Suwanee police last month. The Autism Society’s local chapter is located on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road in Suwanee.
Pike’s attorney said the charges are baseless.
Several former colleagues told police Pike had been stealing money from the agency since 2007. The alleged thefts came to light during an independent audit conducted by the Autism Society’s national headquarters.
One complainant told police “the thefts were first brought to their attention by (headquarters) sometime in August 2011 but that it took time for the audit to be conducted completely and the findings documented,” a Suwanee officer wrote in a report.
Police were provided a summary of the audit’s findings, showing more than $60,000 in missing funds that were linked to Pike, a police report states. She was arrested Friday and posted $91,200 surety bond the same day, according to Gwinnett County Jail records.
Pike’s attorney, Raymond Lail, called his client “absolutely innocent” and pointed out that she has a child with autism.
“(Pike) has never been arrested in her life until her arrest for these false charges,” Lail said in a prepared statement.
An online professional profile for Pike states that she and her husband, David, started a company in 2010 called Special Needs Neighborhood “to help pass along the valuable information learned during their journey.”
The site says Pike championed the efforts of the Autism Society’s local chapter from 2006 to 2011 “and led them to an organization that was among the best in the ASA network.”
Her current employment is listed as “Managing Member at Georgia Autism Conferences” and owner of AutismAvenue.com.