HOA, condo & co-op corruption and fraud roundup (Nov 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The November 2018 roundup includes reports of HOA corruption from embezzlement to wire transfer fraud to money laundering. Orange Sheriff’s Office investigating reported $400K embezzlement from Lake of the Woods Association (VA) By Allison Brophy Champion Culpepper Star-Exponent Nov 27, 2018 The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the …

HOA private security raid by IN State Police

Indiana state police emblem

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities What can go wrong when homeowners’ associations (HOAs) rely on private security guards to “police” their exclusive communities? How about an HOA private security raid by Indiana State Police? Earlier this month, Indiana’s Attorney General ordered an investigation of private security officers at Lakes of Four Seasons . LOFS is …

Exposing corruption in the affordable housing industry

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Do governments and private individuals spend affordable housing taxpayer dollars wisely? Critics say the industry is plagued by fraud and corruption. What exactly is “affordable housing?” How many times have you heard the industry claim that it’s essential to build condominiums in order to provide more affordable housing? Multiple meanings …

HOA, condo, & coop corruption, fraud, & theft roundup (Oct. 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities HOA corruption and fraud takes many forms. This month’s roundup features several elaborate schemes, and plenty of dirty tricks. Authorities: Foreclosure lawyer Mark Stopa made nearly $5 million off clients’ homes Susan Taylor Martin, Tampa Bay Times Published: September 28, 2018 Updated: September 29, 2018 at 10:09 PM During …

Chicago condo owners file lawsuit to stop deconversion ‘fraud’

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Updated October 9, 2018 Note: the updated version of this post corrects the record about Micheline Magharious. Based upon news sources cited at the time of the original post, a previous version of this article mistakenly stated that Magharious was a principal of Marc Realty. I have been informed …

Lake association once again attempting to get neighbors to pay their HOA

Court law legal books gavel

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Here's a status update on Walker Lake Association, the Shohola, Pennsylvania, community that has been attempting to charge lake access fees to nearby residents who are not members of the lake association. Owners of property in Maple Park have deeded access rights to Walker Lake, and the Walker …

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

HOA, condo, housing coop reports of alleged fraud, conflicts of interest, theft by managers, board Treasurers and Presidents

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 — …

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 …