Suspect Arrested for Stealing Funds from Memorial Fund
Spokane County Sheriff’s Investigative Task Force Detective Tamie Spitzer arrested 36-year-old Katie M. Rafter for Theft 1st Degree in relation to a month long investigation involving funds donated to the Luhr & Honken Memorial Benefit.
On January 12, 2017, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ken Dodge responded to a report of donated funds being embezzled from the Luhr & Honken Memorial Benefit which was held in October of 2016.
The fund was established to raise money for the families of Justin Honken and Justin Luhr who tragically lost their lives in a boat crash on Lake Coeur d’Alene last July. Both young men were involved in the local rodeo community and several of their friends wanted to help their struggling families with expenses.
When the fund was established, two community members had access to the fund’s bank account. Rafter was identified as one of the members with access to the fund that had successfully raised approximately $30,000 during the event.
Detective Spitzer began looking into the finances of the fund raising effort, obtained a search warrant for the financial records, and conducted interviews.
This morning, Detective Spitzer arrested Rafter for Theft 1st Degree after she developed probable cause to believe Rafter stole approximately $14,000 from the fund for her personal gain. Rafter was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail.
The second person who had access to the bank account was very cooperative during the investigations and provided detailed information to detectives. Investigators do not believe she was involved with the theft in any way and were thankful for her assistance.