As summer heats up, so do nationwide investigations of financial crimes involving homeowners and condominium associations across the U.S.
By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Former HOA treasurer facing 8 counts of felony embezzlement (OK)
POSTED 1:16 PM, MAY 31, 2017, BY SARAH STEWART, UPDATED AT 05:16PM, MAY 31, 2017
KFOR Newschannel 4
Former HOA treasurer charged with 8 counts of felony embezzlement
OKLAHOMA CITY – As summer break begins at the Summit Place neighborhood pool, residents hope long neglected repairs can finally happen.
“It allows us to have money to fix all this infrastructure that’s went without any repair for, you know, 10 years or more,” said current board member Dennis Stamper.
Stamper said his neighborhood at N.W. 122nd and Rockwell had slowly seen their funds drain because the former treasurer was stealing it.
“He wrote $160,000 of documented checks to himself and deposited them in his personal account,” Stamper said.
That former treasurer, Ralph Mann, is now facing 8 felony counts of embezzlement.
Read more (Video):
A former HOA Treasurer was able to get away with writing $160,000 of checks to himself over the course of 14 years, before anyone on the board caught on. Criminal prosecution is now underway. The new board now requires signatures of two board members on every HOA check.
Two Charged with Stealing from Condo Owners (FL)
Posted: Jun 01, 2017 06:01 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 01, 2017 10:34 PM EDT
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – The Bay County Sheriff’s Office has arrested the owners of Vacation Place Rentals, a property management company on Panama City Beach.
“The couple is believed to have rented condos and failed to pay condo owners,” deputies wrote in a news release. “In January of 2017, a condominium owner filed a complaint with the BCSO stating that he had not received any rental fee payments from the property management company managing the rental of his condo since mid 2016. Additional owners also began filing similar complaints.”
The BCSO Financial Crimes Unit identified Jessica Delauder, 35, and Nathaniel Tice, 42, as the owners of the property management company.
Florida owners of vacation condos relied on a management team to manage their rental properties. Reently, Bay County Sheriff’s Office arrested two managers of Vacation Place Rentals, following mulitple complaints that thousands in rental income was never forwarded by those managers to the unit owners.
93-year-old Florida woman takes action against real estate brokerage firm
by Charmaine Little | May 18, 2017, 3:18pm
PALM BEACH COUNTY — A 93-year-old woman in Florida has partially won a property dispute against her real estate agents, according to an opinion from Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal.
Margaret Ann Trevarthen filed a complaint against Charles E. Wilson, a real estate sales associate for the broker firm Bob Jackson Inc. Trevarthen accused Wilson of exploitation and abuse when he allegedly used her money for his own benefit, including buying a condominium with the funds from a trust. She also filed the claim against the firm for “vicarious liability” and “direct liability,” saying that the company was at fault because it didn’t monitor how Wilson spent money earned from his commission.
In this case, the courts have ruled that a real estate agent took advantage of a 93-year-old woman, and that the real estate company he worked for erred when it accepted its share of sales commission for several condo units. It appears the real estate agent was using Trevarthen’s money to purchase condos to renovate and flip.
NEW: Ex-Boynton Beach HOA treasurer admits to embezzling over $50,000 (FL)
Conner Mitchell Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
3:05 p.m Wednesday, June 7, 2017 Southern Palm Beach County
A former treasurer of a Boynton Beach homeowner’s association admitted Tuesday that he embezzled over $50,000 from the HOA, court records show.
Norman Glavas, 70, of Boynton Beach, pleaded guilty to one charge of grand theft over $20,000 and will serve 10 months in jail, 70 months of probation and repay $48,179.26 in restitution to the Quail Run Homeowner Association. Glavas committed the crime from 2012 to 2014.
Another former HOA treasurer admits to writing nearly $50K in checks to himself. The 70-year-old was sentenced to 10 months in prison, plus probation and restitution. It took two years for board members to notice discrepancies with HOA bank accounts.
Palmer woman indicted for allegedly defrauding homeowners’ association (AK)
CHRIS FORD Frontiersman.com June 9, 2017
PALMER — A Palmer grand jury handed down a seven-count indictment Wednesday against a 63-year old Palmer woman who allegedly defrauded the Mountain View Homeowners’ Association out of almost $29,000.
According to the Alaska Bureau of Investigation’s Financial Crimes Unit and charging documents, Kimberly Kirby had written herself almost $29,000 in unauthorized checks over a 7 1/2 year period. Police state between April 1, 2007, and Dec. 3, 2015, Kirby had authorized checks tallying almost $37,000. Based on authorized stipends and reimbursement for supplies, $28,750.71 was not authorized, police say.
According to allegations in the indictment, Kirby wrote checks to herself for more than 7 years, before someone in the HOA finally noticed a problem. By that time, the HOA board had to double its assessments to make up for a loss of nearly $29K.
Multiple reports of condo embezzlement in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Senior condo complex for U retirees is reeling from suspected embezzlement
By PAUL WALSH , STAR TRIBUNE
June 16, 2017 – 6:43 AM
The president of a Twin Cities property asset and management company fired a senior executive amid a criminal investigation into allegations that he stole from at least one of the firm’s many clients, an independent condominium complex where retired University of Minnesota faculty and staff live.
Residents of 1666 Coffman in Falcon Heights were informed in an e-mail Thursday that the ousted executive for Durand & Associates management company in South St. Paul embezzled “a large amount of money and “has disappeared.”
A suburban police department told the Star Tribune that the executive’s wife reported that he hadn’t been seen since May 31 and she believed it had to do with his trouble at work.
South St. Paul condo management firm executive suspected of taking millions
By S. M. CHAVEY | firstname.lastname@example.org | Pioneer Press
June 20, 2017 at 10:57 am
A senior executive at Durand & Associates, a property-management firm in South St. Paul, was recently fired after being accused of taking client money.
Members of the Arden Hills North Home Association, an association of about 140 town home units, received an email this past week from Durand & Associates notifying them that one of its employees “embezzled reserve and operating account funds from our Association and many others.” The Arden Hills association was a client of Durand & Associates.
The home association estimates it lost several hundred thousands of dollars, according to Scott Andresen, an attorney who represents the group. He said he does not know whether its insurance will cover the damage fully or not. Durand & Associates insurance might also help cover losses.
The association has begun speaking with prospective property managers to replace Durand & Associates but has not made a final decision.
South St. Paul Police Chief Bill Messerich confirmed that they have an active investigation involving Durand & Associates. He declined further comment, saying he didn’t want to jeopardize the investigation.
Investigators try to gauge extent of alleged condo fraud across Twin Cities
Investigators are looking at more than 30 condominium and townhouse associations across the Twin Cities to determine the extent of alleged theft by a recently fired executive at a South St. Paul property management firm.
Residents of a property in Falcon Heights learned last week that the ousted employee of Durand & Associates was alleged to have embezzled “a large amount of money.” The man hasn’t been charged and the Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects until charges are brought.
But the president of an additional homeowners’ group, Al Luttman of the Northdale Commons Townoffice Park Association Inc. in Coon Rapids, said it is also missing money and has filed a report with the police.
In an e-mail, a Coon Rapids detective told Luttman that “this case is actually much larger than we were aware” and that the entire investigation consisted of “about 40 other cases involving the same type of situation.”
Professional Management Companies have been at the center of several of the biggest fraud scandals in the U.S. Durand & Associates is certified by IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management). See here: iremmn.org/content.php?page=AMO_Directory
According to reports, the unidentified manager opened bank accounts at Anchor Bank, without the knowledge or permission of 30 condo associations. The financial institution describes itself as “one of the largest community banks in Minnesota.”
A large scale police investigation is underway, involving up to 40 different condo associations.