EMBEZZLEMENT MADE TOO EASY!
Published August 9, 2019
I have said it much too often: Anybody robbing a bank in Florida
must be a total idiot. How much money can you steal by robbing a
bank? In today’s time possible $20,000 or even $ 30,000 – if
you’re lucky! But if they catch you, you’re in jail for a long
It’s a lot easier to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from
a community association. It just takes much longer preparation
and a little finesse, but if they catch you, you most likely get
away with a slap on the wrist. Just look at the guys who stole
about $1.4 million dollar – and how they got punished? Remember
PARKER PLAZA SCAM? More or less nothing serious
happened to these four guys! Not one of them went to jail!
As I said above it takes a little preparation, but it’s not too
difficult. Just volunteer as a candidate in the board election
of a community association – many places are desperately looking
for volunteers – or get a CAM license, not really too difficult.
Make sure that the association you pick has well-funded reserve
funds and board members who don’t really know what the heck they
are doing. You don’t really have to look very far – that
scenario is pretty common.
Once you’re in business you can cover it up for quite a while,
because there is really no government agency in Florida that
takes the statutes very seriously. Even if the Florida statutes
require responses to record requests within ten days, it’s real
easy to drag it out for 2-3 years. Without any government agency
in Florida that actually cares about what happens in our
community associations, the
Division of Florida
Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes will plainly ignore
and give any owner, who “dares” to bother them with a complaint,
the run-around – and you are safe from discovery for a long
time. And even if embezzlement is considered a crime, our local
police departments are ill-prepared to deal with embezzlement in
If you become a licensed CAM many board members will just
blindly trust you with their money and you have every
opportunity to enjoy spending their money for a long time. And
if somebody catches on, these same board members will even help
you covering up the damages because they are too embarrassed to
admit that they didn’t watch the owners’ money – and definitely
want to get re-elected.
You think I’m kidding? It happens in Florida’s community
associations only all too often. There is not a week going by
without any media outlet reporting about some sort of
embezzlement in a Florida community association.
As you can see, it’s pretty difficult to watch your money once
you bought property in a community association.
Do you now understand why I’m saying that anybody robbing a bank
in Florida is outright stupid?
||Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice,
's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group.
CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in
associations. He moved to
in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the
developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues
for his own purposes. End of retirement!
CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in
- finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a
member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.
The organization has two websites to inform interested
homeowners and condo owners:
News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.
Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.
ot one of them went to jail!
We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all
service providers surely have a different interest! We are
trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are
useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking