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?
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.
One of the biggest HOA scandals in Colorado is that voters wanted an HOA ombudsman’s office created. The Legislature did so. But this office in DORA (Department of Regulatory Agencies) is worse than worthless. When my book, Neighbors At War, first came out I attended a seminar put on by the newly created Colorado HOA office. I was encouraged that such an office had been proposed. But halfway through the talk by the head of the State office the Southeast Denver Marriot Hotel, I found myself standing up and confronting the head of this state office with his total ignorance of HOA controversies. He’s a state board member, and dumber than a box of rocks.