Condo Watch: Articles Every Condo Owner & HOA Member Should Read

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“State fails to protect condo owners from board fraud, grand jury finds”

Condo Fraud: Florida “State fails to protect condo owners from board fraud, grand jury finds” “The Florida state agency that regulates condominium associations does not work to protect the tens … Continue reading

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“Management company owner sentenced to federal prison for stealing from homeowner associations”

Oct 2016 Baltimore, MD “Management company owner sentenced to federal prison for stealing from homeowner associations” ” . . . victims who lost $2.5 million in funds intended for savings or … Continue reading

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2016 Condo / HOA Crime Log

Jul 2016 Richland Twp, PA “Accused homeowners’ association embezzler opts for trial rather than ARD program” http://www.tribdem.com/news/accused-homeownersassociation-embezzler-opts-for-trial-rather-than-enter/article_b3d01b92-4929-11e6-9485-4b7e28dab18a.html “By Patrick Buchnowski pbuchnowski@tribdem.com  Jul 13, 2016” “Richland police allege Julianna Theresa Zamias, … Continue reading

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“Documents meant to combat fraud in condo elections raise more questions”

April 2016 FL “An investigation by El Nuevo Herald and Univision 23 found irregularities in notarized affidavits in board elections at two condo communities More than 20 condo owners denied … Continue reading

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“Miami-Dade leaders to tackle condominium fraud in Tallahassee”

April 2016 Florida “Miami-Dade leaders to tackle condominium fraud in Tallahassee” http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/doral/article72109112.html

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“CONTRACTOR CONVICTED OF STEALING $2.5 MILLION FROM 12 FAMILIES”

Dec 2014 DOYLESTOWN, Pa. http://6abc.com/news/contractor-convicted-of-stealing-$25m-from-12-families/434536/

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“Pennsylvania getting tougher on problem contractors”

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/watchdog/mc-contractor-fraud-attorney-general-harris-paving-watchdog-20150718-column.html ” . . . Basil Merenda, chief deputy attorney general in charge of consumer protection,  . . . ” Paul Muschick Morning Call 101 N 6th St Allentown, PA 18101-1403 … Continue reading

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“What Every Board Member Should Know About Contracts” – Makower Abbate Guerra Wegner Vollmer PLLC

“Many Associations rely upon municipal inspectors to verify the quality of the workmanship. Our recommendation is not to place such reliance upon the municipal inspectors. Rather, the Association should rely … Continue reading

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“7 steps to protect condo funds from embezzlement” – Inman News (Real Estate)

“ Make sure that you (and not the property manager) hire an accounting firm to give you a full audit or review each and every year. Your association should give … Continue reading

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“Tips for Preventing Theft and Fraud of Association Funds” – Mulcahy Law Firm, PC

http://mulcahylawfirm.com/news/Cheat%20Sheet%20Tips%20to%20Prevent%20Theft%20and%20Fraud%20New%20Pink%20Ice%20MLF%204.9.15.pdf – MU L C A H Y L A W F I R M , P. C . “BE AWARE AND VIGILANT – TAKE CONTROL” “Our law firm suggests … Continue reading

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“How to Steal Money from a . . . Condominium Association!” – Levine & Bazelon

“How to Steal Money from a . . . Condominium Association!” – Wisconsin Condo Law “Comingle funds.  If they accept that, they will accept anything, notice nothing.” http://wisconsincondolaw.com/posts/how-to-steal-money-from-a-wisconsin-condominium-association/

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“Preventing HOA Fraud and Embezzlement” – EPOHOA.org

“Preventing HOA Fraud and Embezzlement” “10. Regularly engage an independent Certified Public Accountant to conduct an audit. ” http://www.epohoa.org/143-have-you-read/286-preventing-hoa-fraud-and-embezzlement

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“9 Steps to avoid HOA Embezzlement” – CommunityAssociationManagement.com

“9 Steps to avoid HOA Embezzlement” https://www.communityassociationmanagement.com/c33-financial-matters/c38-financial-controls/9-steps-to-avoid-hoa-embezzlement/ “1.  Require all books and records . . . be audited annually . . .”

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“Tips For Protecting Your Association Finances” – Hindman Sanchez Law

“Tips For Protecting Your Association Finances” http://www.hindmansanchez.com/resources/article/tips-protecting-your-association-finances – Hindman Sanchez 1 “CONDUCT AN ANNUAL AUDIT, REVIEW, OR COMPILATION.” 2 “ASK YOUR ACCOUNTANT FOR A MANAGEMENT LETTER.  Ask your accountant for … Continue reading

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“HOA Finances: Six Tips for Preventing Embezzlement of Association Money” – HOALeader.com

“HOA Finances: Six Tips for Preventing Embezzlement of Association Money” http://www.hoaleader.com/public/HOA-Finances-Six-Tips-for-Preventing-Embezzlement-of-Association-Money.cfm

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“Fraud Prevention Checklist for Homeowner Associations (HOAs)” – WisePropertySolutions.com

“Fraud Prevention Checklist for Homeowner Associations (HOAs)” “Fraud Prevention Checklist Conduct background checks on employees, vendors and Board members Hire CPA to develop financial procedures Implement multiple signatures for checks … Continue reading

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“AVOIDING FRAUD IN CONDOMINIUM AND HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS” – Community Association Law Group

“AVOIDING FRAUD IN CONDOMINIUM AND HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS” – Community Association Law Group “Fraud and embezzlement can occur in any condominium or homeowners association.  Here are some steps to help minimize … Continue reading

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“Former bookkeeper mulling plea deal”

“Former bookkeeper mulling plea deal” “KINGMAN — A former bookkeeper charged with stealing more than $100,000 from a Mohave Valley association was back in court Tuesday. Julie Ann Cutting, 63, … Continue reading

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“Mother, son arrested for stealing from HOA in Polk”

“Mother, son arrested for stealing from HOA in Polk” “A Lakeland woman and her son were arrested Friday after an investigation revealed they stole more than $122,000 from the Cimarron … Continue reading

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“Mastermind of $300 million fraud involving Clearwater condos gets 40 years in prison”

FL Feb 2015 “Mastermind of $300 million fraud involving Clearwater condos gets 40 years in prison” http://home.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/mastermind-of-300-million-fraud-involving-clearwater-condos-gets-40-years/2266907

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“Former HOA accountant pleads guilty”

Tucson, AZ Mar 2016 VIDEO “Former HOA accountant pleads guilty” “A former bookkeeper for a homeowners association pleaded guilty today to using the HOA’s money as his personal piggy bank. … Continue reading

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“Woman sentenced to 12 years in prison for bilking Simi Valley, Calabasas HOAs”

Ventura Co, CA Mar 2016 “Woman sentenced to 12 years in prison for bilking Simi Valley, Calabasas HOAs” “The owner of a now-defunct management company in Thousand Oaks was sentenced … Continue reading

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“California Woman Convicted of Looting Homeowners Associations”

Ventura Co, CA Feb 2016 “California Woman Convicted of Looting Homeowners Associations” http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/origination/california-woman-convicted-of-looting-homeowners-associations-1072659-1.html

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“Collingwood, Barrie condo fraud case back in court next month”

Feb 2016, Canada “Collingwood, Barrie condo fraud case back in court next month” “Rhonda McCarthy, 41, of Springwater Township faces more than 50 charges connected to alleged fraudulent financial activity … Continue reading

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“High Springs woman gets 10 years for embezzlement”

Feb 2016  Alachua Co, FL “Charges of embezzlement from 11 homeowner associations (HOA) in Alachua and Gainesville led to combined charges and a conviction of racketeering for an employee of … Continue reading

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“Whom does the condo or HOA attorney really represent?” – Sun Sentinel

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/condoblog/2012/09/whom-does-the-condo-or-hoa-attorney-really-represent.html (emphasis added) “Similarly, what too many association attorneys forget is that the association attorney does not represent an individual board member either, or the board members collectively if it … Continue reading

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PA House Bill 1340

“THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE BILL No. 1340 ” “Section 1. Sections 3219(d), 3315(d), 5219(d) and 5315(e) of Title 68 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes are amended to read: … Continue reading

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“Condo fraud revealed” – Fraud Magazine, 2015

“Condo homeowners’ environments can be incubators of fraud because volunteers comprise the boards that oversee the collection of large sums of money, and they might not properly manage these funds … Continue reading

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“Lawyer accused of stealing from clients pleads guilty in HOA scheme”

Las Vegas, NV “Lawyer accused of stealing from clients pleads guilty in HOA scheme” http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/lawyer-accused-stealing-clients-pleads-guilty-hoa-scheme Feb 2014

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“Consideration of Fraud in a Financial Statement Audit”

http://www.aicpa.org/Research/Standards/AuditAttest/DownloadableDocuments/AU-00316.pdf

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“Detecting Financial Statement Fraud”

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financial-theory/11/detecting-financial-fraud.asp

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“Accounting Fraud on the Rise at U.S. Companies”

“More than half of U.S. organizations that experienced fraud in the past two years reported an increase in the number of occurrences, according to a new survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers that … Continue reading

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2015 Condo / HOA Crime Log  

Dec 2015 Clearwater, FL “Clearwater condos tied to $300 million scam” http://wfla.com/2015/12/15/clearwater-condos-tied-to-300-million-dollar-scam/   Dec 2015 Pittsburgh, PA “A 73-year-old woman has been charged with stealing more than $75,000 from her … Continue reading

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“HOW THE FRAUDSTERS FOOL THE AUDITORS” – ACFE

“HOW THE FRAUDSTERS FOOL THE AUDITORS” – ACFE http://fraudit.org/how-the-fraudsters-fool-the-auditors/

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“Myth: Audits Uncover Fraud” – Council of Nonprofits

http://www.councilofnonprofits.org/nonprofit-audit-guide/myth-audits-uncover-fraud “While independent audits serve an important purpose and may prevent potential fraud, audits rarely detect fraud. . . . ” “In fact, only 3.3% of workplace fraud is detected … Continue reading

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“Unlicensed Contractors Will Rip You Off” – ABC News

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/CreativeConsumer/story?id=2624448 “Did you know you could be arrested for using an unlicensed contractor? It’s true. In states that require licensing, hiring an unlicensed contractor is illegal. And if that’s not … Continue reading

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“Co-op / Condo Fraud Is Back, Baby! Here’s How to Spot It — And Stop It” – Habitat Magazine

http://www.habitatmag.com/Publication-Content/2010/2010-February/Featured-Articles-from-Our-Print-Magazine/Co-op-Condo-Fraud-Is-Back#.U_Cv6qJX-uY “Mindy Eisenberg-Stark, an accountant and certified fraud examiner, says such crimes run in cycles. After a major wave of fraud in 1994, when 82 managing agents and four firms … Continue reading

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“Former Property Manger Accused Of Stealing $75,000 From Condo Complex”

“A 73-year-old woman has been charged with stealing more than $75,000 from her former employer. Donna Gritzan, of Carnegie, worked as the property manager for the Trimont Condominiums on Mount Washington … Continue reading

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“7 Misunderstood Facts About Association-Governed Living” – CHPPI.org

“7 Misunderstood Facts About Association-Governed Living” http://www.chppi.org/#!industry-facts/c1w1d

August 7, 2016 · Leave a comment

“Davidson man sentenced in Oak Island condo fraud scheme” | The Charlotte Observer

via Davidson man sentenced in Oak Island condo fraud scheme | The Charlotte Observer

July 29, 2016 · Leave a comment

“Accused homeowners’ association embezzler opts for trial rather than ARD program”

Jul 2016 Richland Twp, PA http://www.tribdem.com/news/accused-homeownersassociation-embezzler-opts-for-trial-rather-than-enter/article_b3d01b92-4929-11e6-9485-4b7e28dab18a.html “By Patrick Buchnowski pbuchnowski@tribdem.com  Jul 13, 2016” “Richland police allege Julianna Theresa Zamias, 31, of Julz Drive, stole money from Skyview Estates Homeowners’ Association … Continue reading

July 24, 2016 · Leave a comment

“Consumer Notice: PA HOA, Condo, Co-op pending legislation”

Deborah A. Goonan,  Independent American Communities https://independentamericancommunities.com/2016/07/12/consumer-notice-pa-hoa-condo-co-op-pending-legislation/ July 2016 “Several weeks ago I wrote articles about HB 1774 (here and here), legislation proposed by State Rep. Rosemary Brown (R), intended … Continue reading

July 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

“Two found guilty of fixing election in Pike County private community”

May 2016 Pike Co, Eastern PA “Two found guilty of fixing election in Pike County private community” “Two Pike County men have been convicted of election fraud, according to Pike … Continue reading

June 23, 2016 · Leave a comment

“Nolen property case brings restitution to fraud plaintiffs”

June 2016 Chelan, WA “Nolen property case brings restitution to fraud plaintiffs” “Condo owners defrauded by Peter and April Nolen’s property firm won back much of their losses Thursday when … Continue reading

June 23, 2016 · Leave a comment

“Developers charged after failed 10-year-old resort project in Crowsnest Pass left investors out $33M”

June 2016 Calgary “Developers charged after failed 10-year-old resort project in Crowsnest Pass left investors out $33M” http://calgaryherald.com/business/local-business/developers-charged-with-fraud-and-theft-failed-10-year-old-condo-project-in-crowsnest-pass-left-investors-out-33m

June 23, 2016 · Leave a comment