More Homeowners Associations Victimized
GAINESVILLE- The scandal involving homeowners' associations being ripped off is growing.
Today we learned at least four more associations are involved in the Sun Lu Properties investigation.
Yesterday we told you that Sun Lu was being investigated for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars from two or three associations.
TV20s Alex de Armas reports the investigation includes many more associations... and a lot more money.
We could be talking about over a hundred thousand dollars lost or misused.
I spoke to one homeowners association board member who says other associations may have been victimized and don't even know it.
"I had received a phone call from another board member that had gotten wind that possible money had been stolen out of our account," said Pat Burns, Treasurer of Hampton Ridge Homeowners Association. "And sure enough I called the bank and our money market account was overdrawn by three thousand dollars."
Thier money market account was rarely touched.
"So right then and there i knew something was terribly wrong," said Burns.
Sun Lu Properties is the property manager for Hampton Ridge, and several other homeowner associations.
Burns says Sally Wilson, an employee of Sun Lu, is the only one allowed to write checks from the association's accounts.
"This person had check writing abilities and sole check writing abilities so she had total control of all of our monies," said Burns.
The board members reported it to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, where a detective is hearing the same story from four or five other associations.
"During the course of the investigation, they'll work on financial records from not only the company but of her personally and the neighborhood association," said Art Forgey, spokesperson for ASO. "They'll have a large quantity of financial documents to look at and try to determine where it went to or if it was wrongly used."
"She was able to secure somewhere probably under 20 thousand dollars," said Burns, "and we are one of the smaller ones."
Burns says she knows of one association that lost 40 thousand dollars and another that lost 70 thousand.
In one case, embezzlement charges have already been taken to the State Attorney's Office.
We tried reaching out to Sally Wilson at Sun Lu, but got no answer.
We also tried calling the company, and again no response.
"I just want an arrest," said Burns. "She's still able to do things. She's still able to take more money that people having stopped her from. I'd like to see her behind bars."
Burns worries that there are still several homeowners associations, that Sally Wilson manages, that aren't even aware of the investigation.
The detective working the investigation says there are about 12 properties in trouble.
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