Embezzling from Homeowners Associations in America is an epidemic. But when a federal prosecutor accepts a tiny plea bargain agreement from a chronic embezzler it stinks to high heavens.
Birmingham, Alabama… Realty company owner Jill Rouse Boothby admits to stealing more than 375,000 dollars from eleven condo associations she managed. She pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and faithfully promises she’ll pay back the hundreds of thousands of bucks she stole. Apparently, there’s not going to be any jail time.
If you’re a 78 year old Realtor and you embezzle a hundred thousand bucks from your HOA neighbors should you be given probation? The answer in Missouri is…yup. The judge apparently had some sympathy for an HOA treasurer who admitted she stole the money to feed her gambling habit. But she won’t have to spend a minute in jail.
While this person is ordered not to serve as treasurer for any other organizations the message to embezzlers nation-wide is horrible. Embezzling by HOA board members and management companies is absolutely out of control all over the country. To stop the crime you have to take as many embezzlers as possible and make an example of them. Put them in jail. Let them rot. Make sure all HOA board officers know they’ll get no sympathy.
I did a post on this sometime back, but a friend last night urged me to watch this documentary again and then blog about it. So here goes:
The Condo Game is a fabulous documentary about the condo market in Toronto and how unscrupulous developers are ‘scrupling’ the rest of us with their crookedness and irresponsible building practices. And Canadians are just as dumb as Americans as they purchase in these high-rise hellholes. HOAs on steroids and tens of thousands of people are beginning to see how badly they’ve been ripped off.
guest blog by Deborah Goonan (Independent American Communities)
How many times have we heard homeowners, Community Association Managers and attorneys lament about apathy in HOAs? A quick Google search on “HOA Apathy” results in dozens of articles on the subject. Few attend annual meetings, so there’s never a quorum. No one wants to serve on the Association’s board. Does anyone actually read emails, newsletters, or the website?
I think I’ve linked to this YouTube video before. It’s an oldie but goody, but it’s a perfect example of the kind of corruption that’s rotted out the core of America’s housing structure. Give an HOA member power over her neighbors and homeowners get threatened fined, sued, and stolen from. This board president is in charge of a half million dollar budget, and her husband is a longtime convicted felon. This board even hires a gun-toting felon to enforce its wishes against homeowners.
Whew! If you think you’ve seen it all, then take another look: