Published November 17, 2023
During the spring legislative session the Florida legislature
SB 154 -- a bill sponsored by Senator Jennifer Bradley.
This created huge financial burdens on owners of hi-rise condos.
It will as well create lots of money in association accounts –
money that is more or less unprotected by statutes, with no
government agency investigating scams, fraud and embezzlement.
Legislators obviously haven’t realized that many unit-owners
voted against fully funded reserves because they didn’t trust
their boards. And many cases have shown in the past that they
were correct. Reserve funds were used for other purposes than
intended – or plainly embezzled – with unit-owners left for
themselves to fight violations of statutes, scams and
Testimony of experts at a hearing of the Senate Committee on
Regulated Industries on November 14, 2023 clearly showed that
these problems are not limited to just a few cases as the
“industry” always tried to say. Scams, kickbacks, fraud and
embezzlement are far spread – with millions of dollars at stake.
I have said in many times: Anybody robbing a bank in Florida
must be a total moron. The FBI will be after them and long
prison sentences are waiting if caught. And there is really not
much money to be robbed in bank branches nowadays: $20,000 -
Get elected to a community association board and you can easily
embezzle millions of dollars – see the Hammocks case. And we
have seen in the past that folks getting caught with the hands
in the cookie-jar get away with a slap on the wrist – see the
Hallandale Beach case, where four guys embezzled around
$1.4million and didn’t face any real punishment.
Will our legislators finally get the message and create laws to
protect homeowners and condo-owners by creating a “REAL”
functioning enforcement agency and laws that will stop these
lengthy lawsuits over record-requests and really punish the
The upcoming legislative session will answer all these
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/.
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