Q&A: Where Do We Go When Management Commits Fraud?

Q. Who can we contact to file a complaint, other than the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBRP), against the management company for knowingly submitting forged proxies at our annual meeting? We are a POA.  We already filed a complaint with the state, but they lost the paperwork and basically closed the case. I heard there is a task force in Miami Dade County, Florida that has been setup for these kinds of cases.

                           —Angry Stakeholder

A. “Indeed, Miami-Dade County has created a Condo Fraud Task Force within the Police Department’s Economic Crimes Bureau,” says attorney Michael A. Ungerbuehler of The Association Law Firm, which has offices in Orlando, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale. “Although the task force appears dedicated solely to condominium fraud, it’s possible that the task force would investigate a fraud matter for a POA (or, homeowners association) located within Miami-Dade County.  If not, the facts presented still appear to involve forgery and conspiracy to commit forgery (both of which are crimes in Florida) and another part of the PD ought to investigate.

“Notwithstanding reporting the matter to the Police Department, the association should – if it hasn’t already – terminate the management agreement and consider suing the management company to recover the association’s expenses incurred in this matter.  Keep in mind that the management agreement may limit litigation avenues and recoverable damages available to the association.”

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