By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Twice in one week, two different states, both involving significant Association-Governed Community theft by admitted criminals.
Yesterday I wrote about Loretta Lock, Realtor/Broker and former HOA treasurer of Charleston Harbor Homes Association in Kansas City, MO, admitted to stealing more than $100,000 from her neighbors. But, instead of time in jail, Lock was sentenced to 2 years probation with restitution.
Well, today’s report is even more outrageous.
In Florida, three members of a family-owned and operated condominium management business were sentenced in connection with fraud and theft charges spanning two decades. Robert and Rachel Dugger, and their daughter Rachel Badilla, racked up more than 30 complaints with the state’s condo regulation board.
Bob Norman of Local News 10 (Miami) first investigated complaints against the Dugger’s company, Timberlake Management, in May 2015. At that time, several arrests had been made, but, while the criminal investigation was in process, both Duggers and Badilla were still managing several South Florida condo associations, including Kennedy House condos in North Bay Village.
The investigation continued for more than a year, and that resulted in Dugger family members pleading guilty to conspiracy and theft charges.
A judge ordered more than $500,000 in restitution and costs, plus 5 years of probation and 300 hours of community service.
No jail time, unless Duggers or Badilla violate their terms of probation.
One difference between the ‘condo crime family’ of Florida and the former board treasurer in Kansas: Robert and Rachel Dugger and Rachel Badilla are licensed Community Association Managers. Now that they have been sentenced following their conviction, the family will lose their licenses to practice condo or HOA management.
As you can see, licensing of management professionals has done little to prevent criminal activity or any other unethical conduct. And despite the existence of the Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), and nearly 3 dozen complaints filed against Duggers and Badilla, it took a formal criminal investigation, a guilty plea, and sentencing to force DBPR to finally revoke 3 management licenses.
Perhaps that’s because most license review boards are more concerned with protecting their collective professional reputation than protecting consumers.
The only advantage to licensing of management companies and professionals: the Florida ‘condo crime family’ must remain permanently out of business. Any attempt to practice association management without a valid license will result in an automatic prison sentence.
‘Condo crime family’ pleads guilty to felonies
Trio must surrender HOA-management licenses
By Bob Norman – Investigative Reporter
Posted: 7:05 PM, October 25, 2016
Updated: 7:06 PM, October 25, 2016
MIAMI – After nearly 20 years and more than 30 complaints to the state with allegations ranging from rigging elections to stealing funds, the so-called “condo crime family” has finally been stopped.
Married couple Robert and Rachel Dugger, and daughter Rachel Badilla, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in Miami-Dade court to conspiracy to commit grand theft, with Badilla also pleading guilty to grand theft from the Kennedy House condo in North Bay Village.
Read more, see VIDEO: