HOA Embezzling Travesty

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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.

(link story on latest embezzlement sentence)

 

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About Ward Lucas

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.

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