Do HOAs ever find true justice when they’re ripped off by property managers? Well, not often. But once in a blue moon a crooked HOA manager is held to account. Well, kind of.
A couple of property managers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire were caught with their hands in several HOA cookie jars under their control. Over a two year period they stole more than a hundred thousand bucks.
“No contest! No contest at all!” Judges love to hear those words. It means they can dispose of a case quickly, make the bad guys promise to pay back a few bucks, and not have to bother about putting the bad guys behind bars.
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HOA Justice Is Rare, But Sometimes Happens
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Gosh, how many times do we have to hear that line from these embezzlers? “Filled with remorse.” It’s such a load of horse puckey. If you’re going to make a bald-faced theft of 350,000 bucks from your neighbors, the only remorse you’re going to feel is that you didn’t steal enough.
Jill Rouse Boothby of Boothby Realty was a property manager for nearly a dozen Birmingham, Alabama condo associations. Plea agreements like hers are only made if she can plead guilty to a small fraction of the crimes she’s accused of. Halloween is over so we can’t really call her a witch. She’s worse. And with all the people she’s hurt, with all the elderly people who’ve been swindled out of their life savings, she deserves worse punishment than she’ll ever be given.
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.
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This HOA Embezzlement Plea Bargain Stinks!
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Yikes! How can I say that having two brothers who are lawyers? And how can I say that after passing the LSAT and being offered a free ride through the University of Washington Law School?
I can say that as a forty-year journalist watching lawyers in court. Never trust a lawyer.
In the link below, a CAI lawyer has tried to simplify the ‘education’ process for prospective buyers. It’s a good step forward. But I like Nila Ridings idea of making all HOA home buyers sign an acknowledgement that each buyer isn’t really buying a home. He or she is buying shares of stock in a non-profit corporation where every single asset, every bank account, every stock account, every college education account is pledged as security to pay for each and every misdeed, miscalculation, embezzlement and lawsuit involving the HOA.
Egads! I can’t count the times when I’ve heard about an HOA board member or HOA manager stealing money to feed his or her gambling addiction. It’s stupid. What’s even more stupid is that 66 million homeowners across the country risk all their life savings by buying into Homeowners Associations in which embezzling is endemic. If you live in an HOA, there’s a massive chance someone you’ve entrusted with your money is chiseling.
Get out! Get out! Get out! Let the national HOA Scam collapse on itself.
(link to yet another criminal stealing your money)
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