It’s fantastic news when an HOA board member is convicted of embezzling from all her neighbors. It’s horrible when the judge decides that probation is adequate punishment. Homeowners Associations are mini-governments that should theoretically be governed by the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, board members should be treated and considered as politicians. And an embezzling board member should be treated as a corrupt politician.
There’s a pretty good handful of politicians who’ve been sent to prison for corruption. Think ABSCAM if anybody remembers that one.
But these soccer moms who steal tens of thousands of bucks from the HOA? Naw, the prisons are too full. Just give them probation and restitution although that restitution is almost never paid. Stealing from your neighbors is fundamentally corrupt because it makes the rest of us not trust the institution. Lose faith in an institution and the emotional and financial damage in the neighborhood is irreparable. Special assessments to pay for the amounts stolen can make your home worthless. Who wants to buy in an HOA when you have no idea what the monthly dues are going to be.
Don’t mollycoddle these monsters. Throw them in prison. Throw away the key.