Woman used HOA money for a family cruise, Florida cops say
Homeowners association fees are a sore subject with many, and it turns out one community in Florida had a right to complain, according to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office on the Florida Panhandle.
A Calhoun County woman who managed one Bay County HOA was arrested on accusations she used the agency’s money for personal luxury items, including a family cruise, the sheriff’s office said in a May 18 news release.
The name of the community was not released, but it was the HOA’s board that uncovered the illegal spending spree.
“In March, 2022, HOA board members filed a report with the BCSO after finding irregularities in their finances,” the sheriff’s office said.
“Board members suspected that the manager of the HOA … was taking money from the HOA. Through investigation it was determined (the suspect) was using credit cards and debit cards belonging to the HOA for personal purchases including residential furniture and a family cruise.”
The 42-year-old woman is accused of trying to cover the paper trail by creating “fraudulent invoices to various companies.”
It’s estimated $34,000 of the HOA’s money was spent illegally, officials said, and the woman has been charged with “ongoing scheme to defraud.”
HOAs are typically a non-profit “governing body that makes and enforces rules for a subdivision of homes,” according to Homebuyer.com. They are funded by collecting required monthly or annual fees from homeowners, and the money is intended to “maintain a community’s aesthetics and amenities.”