Another HOA Embezzler Gets Spanked

The Wyoming Supreme Court hammered a Gillette woman, who’ll probably be spending the rest of her life in prison.
60 year old Julie Ann Jacobsen embezzled more than $400,000 from her Homeowners Association.  She was entrusted with the HOA’s books. She used a variety of sneaky ways to funnel all that money from her neighbors into her personal bank account. When the verdict was announced, though, Jacobsen wasn’t there to hear it.  She was on the lam. She fled to Washington State and evadedlaw enforcement for about a year.
But most thieves are stupid, and Julie Ann Jacobsen was doubly so. Even if you have $400,000 in stolen money, sooner or later you’re going to make a mistake and pop up on some database or another.  She did. And she was busted. She was hauled back to Wyoming to face the music.
She appealed her 36 to 60 year prison sentence to the Wyoming State Supreme Court. She asked the court to overturn the sentence.
The Supreme Court said….

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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

2 thoughts on “Another HOA Embezzler Gets Spanked

  1. Cheyenne Jones

    I’m angry that HOA’s in some locations will not allow home owners to fly the American flag. Reminds me of an incident when I managed HOA’s. A new owner of a $2,000,000. house (in Marin County CA), dug a big hole in his front lawn, poured cement into it and installed an 8′ x 6′ Totem pole. When I tried to explain to him the CC&R’s prohibited any additions to the front of the property – he played the religious card and said it was a religious symbol and we couldn’t discriminate based on religion…… HOA’s often have too many rules, but they must have SOME rules!!

    1. Ward Lucas Post author

      Hmmm, you’re talking to someone who grew up in Seattle where totem poles are common. I never gave them a second thought. Of course, I never saw an 8’x6′ totem pole. That sounds more like a wall than a pole! But on a more serious note, make your zoning laws stronger. Take enforcement out of the hands of neighborhood board members who have no accountability and who have a history of rigging elections to make sure they’re the only ones who’ll ever be elected. Don’t give fascist-like power to people who personally benefit from micromanaging the affairs of their neighbors and then fining, liening and confiscating homes. The HOA system is fundamentally broken. It cannot be repaired. Where am I going wrong?


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