HOA, condo, co-op corruption, theft, & fraud roundup (Jan. 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Light-fingered homeowners’ group prez gets 5 years’ probation, must repay $300K

Updated Jan 19, 8:15 PM; Posted Jan 19, 4:43 PM

By Frank Donnelly fdonnelly@siadvance.com

Danny Juliano, who embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Rossville homeowners’ association while president was sentenced to five years’ probation and $300,000 restitution.

He’s repaying a lot of money, but at least the former president who bilked his Rossville homeowners’ association of more than $300,000 has his freedom.

Danny Juliano, 51, was sentenced Friday to five years’ probation for using the Woodbrooke Estates Homeowners’ Association’s checking account as his personal piggy bank.

Juliano, who is on the hook for $300,000 in restitution, has repaid $200,000, said Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Curiale. He must shell out the remaining $100,000 while on probation.

Juliano, who, prosecutors said, was a civilian employee for the Police Department’s Property Clerk Division, was accused of embezzling $366,380 from the homeowners’ association between October 2011 and February 2015.

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The former HOA President brazenly made “numerous’ cash withdrawals from the association’s checking account. Juliano was apparently the only person signing checks, without board approval. Owners trusted him, as a former civilian staff member of the local Police Department. In exchange for a guilty plea, he escapes serving time in prison. 

Felony charges lead to warrant
Jennifer Jo Noteware accused of neighborhood theft

BY KYLE KAMINSKI kkaminski@record-eagle.com Dec 26, 2017

Traverse City Record Eagle

TRAVERSE CITY — A neighborhood association treasurer faces multiple felony charges after authorities accused her of forging hundreds of dollars in checks and keeping the cash for herself.

Grand Traverse County prosecutors last week issued an arrest warrant for Jennifer Jo Noteware, 52, of Traverse City, after deputies said she collected cash from her neighbors at the Black Forrest Home Owners Association, later forging signatures and cashing checks for “personal expenses.”

Noteware was not yet arrested as of Friday afternoon. Attempts to contact her were unsuccessful.

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A Treasurer of an unidentified association-governed community is accused of diverting neighborhood cash to her personal bank accounts. 

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Homeowners association ignores court
Money missing from Walker Lake account

Wed, 01/03/2018 – 1:13pm
SHOHOLA, PA — Amelia and William Pearn received a bill that says they owe the Walker Lakeshores Landowners Association (WLLA) $325 for a “Lake Assessment” and $50 as a “Membership Fee” for 2018. But that is a direct contradiction to a decision made by Judge Joseph Kameen in the Court of Common Pleas, saying that the Pearn’s home is not located in the Walker Lake community and is not part of the WLLA, and therefore is not subject to any assessment or fee except a $10-a-year maintenance fee.

The ruling, which came last year, was part of a seven-year legal battle the Pearns waged against WLLA, which cost the couple thousands of dollars. In the fall of 2017, a lawyer for WLLA moved to withdraw the association’s appeal of the decision, and the judge accepted the withdrawal. That meant that his previous ruling stands—and that should have been the end of the matter. Amelia, who keeps a detailed website about the issue at http://www.shoholapa.com, declared victory. Then the bill came.

Amelia lives in a neighborhood called Maple Park, and is not the only homeowner there who has been wrongly billed for assessments and fees as being part of the neighborhood next door. But it appears there are bigger problems facing the WLLA and its board.

A treasurer’s report dated November 18, 2017, after an audit of WLLA’s books by the accounting firm Zavada and Associates, which is posted in Amelia’s website, says, “…it appears that there has [sic] been numerous unauthorized cash withdrawals from the WLLA checking account totaling at least $22,000 in 2016, over $21,000 in 2015 and over $44,000 in 2014 for total of at least $87,000 for the years 2014 through 2016.

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More than 100K missing from Walker Lakeshores association accounts

By Bill Cameron (Pocono Record)
Jan. 07, 2018. Posted at 1:00 PM
A financial audit has brought to light more than $123,000 of homeowner funds missing from a private community in Shohola. The findings have prompted State Police to dig deeper into the dealings of Walker Lakeshores Landowners Association.

“We are investigating the possibility of misappropriated funds,” said Corporal Shawn Smith of State Police Blooming Grove. “We’re working with attorney Thomas Farley, who is the solicitor, and the District Attorney’s Office.

“It’s a preliminary investigation at this time. We just received some paperwork from attorney Farley, and we’re reviewing that now.”

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HOAs can and do spread their dysfunction and abuse to their non-HOA neighbors. The bizarre story of Maple Park homeowners, Amelia and William Pearn – well documented at shoholapa.com – is a textbook example.

After a 7 year legal battle, a Judge finally ruled that the Pearn’s home is not in Walker Lakeshores Landowners Association (WLLA), and that the Association can only bill Maple Park residents $10 per year for easement access to the lake they never use. But WLLA keeps sending bills for $375 to the Pearns every year. 

Incredibly, WLLA has sued more than 100 property owners over the past several years in an attempt to force them to pay lake maintenance assessments.

In the meantime, following the death of the lake association’s long-time President-Treasurer, a new Treasurer has been appointed. WLLA’s books have just been audited, and now the association is under investigation for “numerous unauthorized cash withdrawals” exceeding $123,000.

Stay tuned. 

$100 bills (pixabay.com free image)
Neighbors may have to pick up Woodbridge HOA dues

Ryan Summerlin
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
December 19, 2017
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Following news of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into Woodbridge, and the company’s subsequent bankruptcy, homeowners neighboring the company’s area properties could have to pick up the tab if Woodbridge can’t pay its HOA dues.

The company has substantial property holdings in two Carbondale-area developments, Aspen Glen and River Valley Ranch. At this point, managers at the two private communities wouldn’t speculate too much on what impacts there may be to their homeowners associations.

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See also:

Real Estate Developer Woodbridge Is Being Sued Over a $1.2 Billion Ponzi Scheme that Defrauded the Elderly

Woodbridge is a builder of luxury resort properties in Colorado. The developer still holds undeveloped lots in two HOAs – Aspen Glen and River Valley Ranch. Now that Woodbridge is in hot water with the SEC, property owners will end up paying assessments for all of those vacant lots currently owned by the bankrupt developer. 


Lawsuit alleges neighborhood association misallocated $100,000 payment


Updated Information

This story has been updated to include additional information from the lawsuit.
Members of the East Campus Neighborhood Association filed a lawsuit against several officers of the association, including the president and Sixth Ward Councilwoman Betsy Peters, alleging a $100,000 payment related to the construction of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house in 2011 was misused.

The lawsuit claims that Peters and ECNA president Janet Hammen, among other current and former officers, failed to pay taxes due on the settlement, were not transparent about the terms of the deal and misallocated the $100,000 payment, including spending $40,000 on “unapproved artwork,” according to a news release from Brown Law Office, the firm representing the plaintiffs. The payment was issued in 2011 by Zeta Phi Corp. in exchange for permission to build their new house 7 feet, 4 inches taller than city codes allowed.

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For the back story on the conflict between investor-landlords and owner-occupants, read this:

New East Campus housing association critical of zoning law review

East Campus Neighborhood Association (ECNA) is a 30-year-ol voluntary HOA (civic association), that allocates one vote per member, rather than one vote per property. Landlord owners – the majority of owners in East Campus Neighborhood – don’t like this arrangement, and have been fighting for more voting clout in ECNA. Owner-occupants want more strict zoning restrictions on rental properties, especially with Missouri University nearby. 

The current lawsuit alleges conflicts of interest, self-dealing, and misuse of association funds. Note the direct ties to local government, and how it intersects with ECNA. 

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Hollywood Beach Resort residents sue KW Property Management

The management firm allegedly used association funds to illegally open business

January 16, 2018 02:30PM

Two Hollywood Beach Resort associations are suing a former property management company for allegedly failing in its financial duties to the groups.

The Hollywood Beach Resort Condominium Association and the Hollywood Beach Hotels Owners Association allege that KW Property Management and Consulting failed its contractual obligations, which included managing association activities, preparing financial records, and helping budgeting money, according to the Daily Business Review.

KW Property illegally signed a lease for an off-site property to run a bar, restaurant, and hotel business on behalf of the associations, the suit claims.

When that business began to fail, the board members funneled association funds to keep it open, while KW Property allegedly issued checks and cooked balance sheets to cover the expenses, according to the suit.

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A lawsuit alleges that a former property manager had the gall to use the Miami resort’s funds to prop up a business without authorization from property owners of the condo and hotel associations. 


Sheriff’s deputy accused of falsifying HOA records

Lisa J. HuriashContact Reporter
Sun Sentinel

A Broward Sheriff’s deputy resigned several months into a criminal investigation of whether he falsified state documents to conceal his after-hours activities, according to records released Thursday.

Former Deputy Christopher Kapish could have been suspended without pay for 20 days but he had retired with just three days’ notice in May.

Kapish, a 28-year veteran of the agency, told the Sun Sentinel on Thursday that “nothing was falsified, that didn’t happen” and blamed his homeowners association’s management company for a clerical error.

The investigation started when a resident complained Kapish was president of the Estates at Turtle Run Homeowners Association but his wife was listed as the president in the annual reports filed with the state.

Kapish’s bosses had told him in November 2014 that he wasn’t allowed to be the association president or serve on the Turtle Run Foundation, which is the master association of the HOAs, because it was a conflict of interest with the agency.

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Here’s a case where there is a conflict of interest. Christopher Kapish serves on the board of supervisors for Turtle Run CDD and on the board for Turtle Run Foundation, the master HOA for the community. But Broward County warned Kapish that he would have to choose between his position as Sheriff, or continuing to server Turtle Run. 

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