HOA, Condo, Co-op Corruption, Fraud, and Theft Roundup (Sept. 2017)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Updated Sept 26, 2017 (10:44 PM)   Florida title attorney gets 40 months in prison for bank fraud, embezzlement, money laundering Defrauded Bank of America, GulfSouth Private Bank, other banks September 5, 2017 Ben Lane A Florida title attorney will spend more than the next three years in prison …

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Former Lynnhill residents awarded $100K from utility companies for abrupt shutoff

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Nearly a year has passed since State Senator C. Anthony Muse called for an investigation into alleged mismanagement of funds at Lynnhill Condominiums. Last fall, residents were abruptly forced to find alternate housing after Pepco and Washington Gas Light Company shut off utilities to the housing complex. No word …

HOA, Condo, co-op corruption, fraud, theft roundup (Aug 2017)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Prosecutor: Hasbrouck Heights Property Manager Stole $100G From Condo Group (NJ) Jerry DeMarco Hasbrouck Heights Patch HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ — A borough man has been charged with embezzling more than $100,000 from a Bergen County condominium association. Raymond Gonzalez, 62, was charged with theft and two counts of …

IL condo owner board alleges fraud, failure to disclose construction defects

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I have said it before, and I will say it again. Modern association-governed communities are created by and for real estate developers and their affiliated investor stakeholders. Not only are the governing documents written to the clear legal and economic advantage of the Declarant, but state laws also enable …

HOA, condo, co-op corruption, fraud, theft roundup (July 2017)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Fort Collins accountant pleads guilty to theft (CO) Sarah Jane Kyle , sarahkyle@coloradoan.com Published 4:38 p.m. MT June 26, 2017 A Fort Collins accountant accused of stealing from two of her clients took plea deals in two criminal cases against her Monday. Meredith Kanter, also known as Molly …

Insurer denies coverage to Chicago condo association, owners to pay $500K in legal expenses

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities It has been a while since my last article on the long-running legal battle between State Parkway Condominium Association and condo owner Michael J. Novak. Well, the legal battle rages on, as reported in Loop North News. (See below) Novak, a Certified Public Accountant, continues his fight for access to …

Jury rules in favor of homeowner in case of non-existent HOA

Jury finds Rancho Bel Air POA committed "negligent misrepresentation," Awards $20K punitive damages to homeowner Jonathan Friedrich     By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Jonathan Friedrich purchased his home in 2003, shortly after his retirement. Before he purchased the home, Friedrich was given a set of Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) for Unit 2, …

Priority liens or not, HOAs do not protect property values

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The HOA industry got another black eye this week with the release of Nevada Association of Realtors (NVAR) report on the adverse effects of HOA foreclosures on property values. NVAR teamed up with SGS, a professional survey company, to measure consumer opinions of HOAs and the controversial priority lien. …

Do some U.S. homeowners have more private property rights than others?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities As we celebrate Independence Day in the U.S., it is the appropriate time to reflect on the status of private property rights in America, especially with regard to homeownership and association-governed communities. Legal dictionaries define private property as: The ownership of tangible and intangible goods by an individual who …

HOA, condo, co-op Corruption, fraud, theft roundup (June 2017)

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 …