Massive HOA Fraud Discovered in Oregon

You don’t hear many stories about HOA nightmares in Oregon and Washington. Well, folks, that’s changing.

Here’s a story that claims 31 Homeowners Associations in Oregon were ripped off by their management company. Homeowners are facing huge special assessments to make up for the loss. The management company employee embezzled up to two million dollars. HOAs from Portland to Forest Grove are struggling under the weight of the financial disaster.

Stunned homeowners were heard saying, “Gosh, you just don’t hear about this kind of thing happening.” To which our only comment should be “HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!”

But heck, lets unload some more comments. The victim HOAs in Oregon are the rule, NOT the exception. HOA embezzlement by board officers and management companies may be the most underreported financial crime in America. One problem is that embezzlements embarrass Homeowner Associations. They do everything in their power to cover them up. It’s hard to sell homes in a neighborhood that has a track record for ripping off the homeowners.

Second, if you’re an HOA president or treasurer there are amazing ways of stealing from your neighbors so they never actually know they’ve been robbed. Hmmm, if there’s enough interest, I might even create a list of 101 ways to steal HOA funds and not get caught. I’d hate to further educate the bad guys, but it might provide some important information for future victims.

Last, it’s my belief, based on some pretty good evidence, that the vast majority of Homeowner Associations in America have already lost money to HOA corruption. That’s what the FBI is discovering in the massive federal investigation of HOAs in Las Vegas.

Although life in some HOAs is rather pleasant, each homeowner may as well have a huge bull’s eye tattooed on his or her backside. To quote a famous Gary Larson “Far Side” cartoon character, “Bummer of a birthmark, Hal.”

BTW, the link below contains the whole story on the Oregon theft, along with the 31 HOAs that got ripped off. Good reporting by Mara Stine and Jim Clark of the Gresham Outlook. Now, if they’d just expand their investigation to the rest of the Pacific Northwest!

http://portlandtribune.com/news/print_story.php?story_id=134013470305516200

Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association

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3 Comments

Filed under HOA, HOA Horror Stories, Homeowners Association, Las Vegas HOA

3 responses to “Massive HOA Fraud Discovered in Oregon

  1. Is there any other industry that suffers from embezzlement as much as the HOAs? It’s quite a growth trend in a sector that’s capable of sinking on its own.

    For awhile, I thought So. Florida was going to have to build special facilities for the 80 yr old perps clutching their canes in one hand and the CC&Rs in the other. We called them “Condo Commandos” when I was growing up down there, but that was in their pre-criminal days of going after overweight dogs and loud visiting grandchildren. Now they’re outdone by the pros. Ahhh. Those were the days, my friend.

  2. Judith

    How can you possibly catch malfeasance? If you merely utter something about wanting to see an audit while playing a round of golf and it gets back to – for example, an obese ‘good old boy’ attorney, who happens to be the entrenched Board Chairman for 10 years and counting – you may be targeted for horrendous harassment including massive fines, leins and ultimately a lawsuit costing 6 figures just to defend yourself? Hmmmm? Voice of experience here…don’t actually know if there IS any malfeasance – but certainly don’t have the $$$$$ to pursue it to find out! An after an ‘example’ is made out of a few homeowners, no one else is going to push for an audit. Count on it.

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