New surveillance camera startup plans to serve HOAs – what could go wrong?

Security camera in use sign

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities How far are you willing to go to protect yourself and your community from crime? How much privacy are you willing to give up? How much would you be willing to pay for security services? A new startup surveillance company is hoping you — or your homeowners association — …

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

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Lawsuit filed in condo association theft case By JOHN BURNETT Hawaii Tribune-Herald | Sunday, August 19, 2018, 12:05 a.m. HILO — A Hilo condominium owners’ association is suing a former vice chairman of the state Real Estate Commission and his wife for allegedly embezzling about $120,000 in funds. …

Big Picture: US housing trends & condo, HOA communities

Multifamily apartment mortgage fraud investigation underway According to a report in Housing Wire, referencing the Wall Street Journal, the FBI, DOJ, and Inspector General of FHFA are investigating fraudulent activities of developers in New York and Pennsylvania. The federal agencies handed down indictments after gathering evidence that developers “Frank Giacobbe, Patrick Ogiony, Kevin Morgan, and …

FL DBPR investigating one of its former condo regulators

Legal gavel lawsuit

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Edited August 19, 2018 6:53 AM  Reports of corruption involving condo and homeowners’ associations have become so common, I usually group several articles in a monthly “roundup” post. But today’s post involves corruption so outrageous, it needs to be highlighted. According to an exclusive investigative report by Bob Norman, …

HOA, condo & co-op Golf community updates (Aug. 2018)

Golf-course-fairway-player

by Deborah Goonan, Indepedent American Communities This month, we start with Crickentree, in Blythewood, South Carolina. There, a golf course is going into bankruptcy. The investment firm that holds the loan proposes redeveloping the failed golf course as a new subdivision with 450 homes.  Homeowners surrounding the golf course are not happy. They say that …

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

Money-100-dollar-bills-theft-embezzlement

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Debit card fraud, mortgage fraud, and common jewelry theft on this month’s roundup. McKenzie County HOA president accused of embezzling $30K (ND) By Jamie Kelly editor@willistonherald.com Jul 25, 2018 Police say the president of a McKenzie County homeowners association embezzled nearly $30,000 from the association. Russell Winchester, 55, was …

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

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities This month: several managers, former board members of association-governed communities either arrested or sentenced; mortgage fraud investigation continues in Florida; a developer and hotel owner is sued by owners of condo association for raising fees by 150%; environmental fraud in Massachusetts results in light sentence   Sentencing delayed for …

HOA, condo, Co-op fraud, theft, & corruption roundup (May 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Real estate fraud schemes in the world of association-governed communities.   Former HOA treasurer gets jail time in theft By Kim Smith ksmith@gvnews.com May 24, 2018 A former HOA treasurer was sentenced Thursday to seven years' probation and six months in jail for stealing more than $203,000.   …

Lawsuit against Bella Collina HOA falls apart

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Sometimes a bitter homeowner’s association dispute is not what it seems. Readers may recall a previous post about Bella Collina, an exclusive planned golf resort community near Orlando. In March of 2017, the Orlando Sentinel reported that lot owners in Bella Collina of Monteverde (near Clermont), Florida, filed a …

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

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities This month’s roundup includes dishonest board members of association-governed communities, a developer previously sanctioned for fraudulent activity, and HOA foreclosure fraud.     Former HOA treasurer pleads guilty to theft By Kim Smith ksmith@gvnews.com Apr 23, 2018 A former HOA treasurer accused of stealing more than $204,000 from the …