A Winfield real estate agent is facing criminal charges after allegedly not repaying money she owed to several people, Cowley County District Court documents show.
A criminal complaint filed March 21 at Cowley County District Court in Arkansas City, shows Gwen Lumbert has been charged with 11 counts of theft by deception for failing to make the repayments, in amounts ranging from $4,000 to $114,000, between November 2017 and January 2019.
Her next court appearance is 9 a.m. June 27 in Arkansas City. Chad Giles is listed as her attorney on court records.
Contacted about the charges Thursday, Lumbert said she had been the victim of a scam, and is in the process of paying back the money and clearing her name. She declined to elaborate on how she was scammed.
In addition to the criminal charges, nine plaintiffs have also filed civil suits against Lumbert in an effort to get money back. Most of the suits were filed on May 2-3. Those filing civil suits include Virginia C. Schweitzer, Judith D. Eggleston, Elizabeth Feldman, Larry Shelton, Mingkouy Lo, Carl Schultz, Cheryl Hobbs and Betty Daniels.
In all cases, Lumbert is said to have agreed to repay the plaintiffs the original amount owed, plus court fees and interest.
In one case, Matthew C. and Thao Bair filed a claim against Lumbert in small claims court on May 11 to try and recoup the $4,000 they are owed.
A request for garnishment was sent May 24 to Herrman Realty of Winfield, Lumbert’s most recent employer, seeking garnishment of Lumbert’s wages due to nonpayment of the $4,000.
In response, the company sent the couple a check covering what they would have received from the garnishment according to state statute, but said they wouldn’t receive any other payments because Lumbert was an independent contractor whose employment with Herrman Realty was terminated as of June 11.
Lumbert’s real estate license is active, according to the Kansas Real Estate Commission. According to information on Realtor.com, she was a full-time realtor with Prudential Albright Reality for 18 years, and has been the leading producer in sales in the Winfield area since 1998.
Lumbert is also facing a charge of writing a worthless check in a separate pending case. According to court records, Lumbert allegedly wrote a worthless check for $10,000 on June 9, 2018. She was arrested and booked into the Cowley County Jail, but released after paying $2,500 bond. Lumbert has been ordered to pay restitution in this case.
Phone calls to the county attorney’s offices in Winfield and Arkansas City for additional comment were not returned as of press time.