HOA, Condo Fraud, Theft, and Embezzlement round up (July 2016)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

Another month’s worth of allegations of misappropriation and misconduct in Association Governed communities.

Money in the form of many large bills

Professor charged with snookering homeowners’ association (NJ)

Excerpts:

The indictment alleges [Kimberle Rolle] Samarelli, who is executive director of the New Jersey Amusement Association and an adjunct professor of business at Ocean County College, stole an amount of money greater than $500 from the Pelican Island Property Owners Association between June 1 and October 31, 2012, said Martin Anton, supervising assistant Ocean County prosecutor. Samarelli was the property owners’ association treasurer during that time, he said.

Samarelli’s attorney, S. Karl Mohel, said the whole thing amounts to a checking error and some lost receipts.

“There were checking accounts issued, and checks written on the wrong account,’’ Mohel said.

“The money has all been paid back way before this,’’ said Mohel, who added he was surprised Samarelli was indicted in the first place.

Mohel said he suspects the prosecution stems from bad feelings among a few Pelican Island property owners over Samarelli’s fight in 2013 to try to block filming of the “Snooki & JWoww’’ MTV reality show spinoff of “Jersey Shore’’ at a home on Pelican Island owned by Michael Loundy.

Read more: http://www.app.com/story/news/crime/2016/07/06/professor-charged-snookering-homeowners-association/86770382/

The indictment alleges the former HOA treasurer used association funds to purchase several gallons of canola oil for her restaurant, and charges the defendant with theft of $655. In this case, do these charges stem from a personal vendetta or actual theft? Hopefully we’ll find out in future reports.

 

Ex-Lake Redwine manager guilty of pocketing HOA fees (GA)

Melissa Delaine Reason (Newnan Times Herald)

A former Lake Redwine homeowners association manager has pleaded guilty to charges of forgery and four counts of unlawful use of a financial transaction card.
On Tuesday, Melissa Delaine Reason was sentenced to two years probation on each of the four card charges and 15 years probation on the forgery charge, all to run concurrently.
As part of her sentence, Judge Allen B. Keeble ordered her to serve four weekends in jail and pay $5,000 in restitution to the homeowners association.

Reason served as the association manager for Lake Redwine from September of 2014 before resigning in July of 2015.

Read more: http://times-herald.com/news/2016/07/ex-lake-redwine-manager-guilty-of-pocketing-hoa-fees

Bank transaction cards – debit or credit – offer a bit too much convenience for opportunistic employees, contractors, or even board members, especially when there aren’t several sets of eyes reviewing receipts, bank, and credit card statements.

 

Accused homeowners’ association embezzler opts for trial rather than ARD program (PA)

By Patrick Buchnowski

EBENSBURG – The woman allegedly at the center of a scheme to embezzle money from a Richland Township homeowners’ association will stand trial, likely in October.

Julianna T. Zamias, 32, opted for a trial rather than enter the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, her Johnstown attorney Caram Abood said.

Read more:

http://www.tribdem.com/news/accused-homeowners-association-embezzler-opts-for-trial-rather-than-enter/article_b3d01b92-4929-11e6-9485-4b7e28dab18a.html

Julianna Zamias cannot afford to repay $64,000 restitution to Skyview Estates HOA, and therefore cannot enter ARD. Her father, Dennis P. Michalels  has agreed to pay roughly $17K restitution and serve probation. You might recall the backstory here is that Julianna and her parents were developers of Skyview Estates, and served as officers of the HOA board at the time of the arrest. 

 

Police: Former employee stole $90,000 from Inn at Aspen hotel

by Chad Abraham, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer

Excerpt:

According to an arrest warrant a judge signed in May, the company found accounting irregularities after the defendant resigned last July.

The company official told Gibson that the Inn at Aspen’s condominium association was missing just over $85,000 from the fiscal years 2014, 2015 and 2016, and that the company itself was missing nearly $6,800.

An email from the company showed its “basis for believing Naivalu stole the money from the HOA and WVR,” Gibson wrote.

WVR sent a written complaint to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies that states the company discovered the irregularities through internal accounting controls.

The warrant says Naivalu misappropriated money in several ways. On July 1, 2015, for instance, he allegedly closed a bank account in the condo association’s name, causing the bank to issue two cashier’s checks totaling $5,908 that were payable to Naivalu that day. The same day, he allegedly retained $2,400 in rent payments from employees who live in apartments at the Inn at Aspen, as well as $500 in petty cash.

http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/171857

Investigator Brad Gibson has determined that Saimoni Naivalu, 44, of Ivins, Utah, misappropriated the money from Wyndham Vacation Rentals hotel condominium in Aspen, Colorado. Naivalu is accused of theft of rent money from tenants, opening and writing checks from a fraudulent bank account, and issuing payment to a bogus company he owned. 


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