CONVICTED. THIS TIME IN BROWARD
Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published August 29, 2016
I really wish I didn’t
have to write this particular blog this week. It’s about another
HOA President who helped herself to the association’s funds when
she thought she wouldn’t get caught. And if not for the hard
work of a particular resident of the community, she might have
Three years after the case
started, I decided to look at the very first e-mail I received
from my client and this is how it reads:
Greetings Dr. Glazer,
I’ve been a CCFJ member since 2007, and you
were recommended to me by Jan Bergemann when I asked for a
homeowner-friendly HOA attorney in the Fort Lauderdale area.
(Jan said to say, “hello.”)
Myself and several homeowners in my community
have discovered evidence that our HOA board is writing checks to
someone that doesn’t exist based on a contract that also doesn’t
exist. We attempted to approach the board at its last
regularly-scheduled meeting, hoping the honest members would
begin an investigation. Tonight, we had a general
membership meeting, and it’s apparent that the board is
doubling-down in an attempt to deflect from the theft of
association funds and instead, so it seems, initiate a lawsuit
Now here’s the funny part.
You know the joke about asking someone if they think they’re a
rocket scientist? Well my client actually is a rocket scientist.
So, he wasn’t afraid or stupid enough to turn away and avoid the
fight. When the Board tried to convince him to mind his
business, he dug his heels in harder.
I got hired by Steve and
demanded some records from the association and the City of
Tamarac. The records showed that someone with nearly the
identical name as the President was getting paid by the HOA for
acting as a liason for the City of Tamarac. The only problem was
that The City of Tamarac never employed such a person and there
was no such position as City Liason. Notwithstanding this, the
payments went on for years, even under the nose of a
professional management company.
Finally, my client and I
met with the police, we provided exemplary records, and an
arrest was made. Last week, the President changed her plea from
not guilty to guilty. There was no slap on the wrist this time.
She was sentenced to five years incarceration, 15 years
probation and ordered to pay back $192,000.00 in restitution.
The former President of
course got all the publicity in the press, even though it
certainly was negative publicity. My client, who truly uncovered
the crime and spoke about it years ago on the Condo Craze and
HOAs Radio Show received no Thank You at all from the prior
board and certainly no accolades in the press. Without him and a
few others at the HOA, who knows how long this would have went
on and who knows how much more the owners would have suffered.
So this week……here’s to you Steven Soloff for
being smart enough and brave enough to fight back, ask
questions, and refusing to take NO for an answer. You are an
example for all owners in community associations throughout
Florida of what to do when you think you’re being ripped off and
are stonewalled when you start asking questions. Your neighbors
certainly owe you a drink.
HOA & Condo Blog
Eric Glazer graduated from
the University of Miami School of Law in 1992 after
receiving a B.A. from NYU. He has practiced community
association law for more than 2
decades and is the owner of Glazer
and Associates, P.A. a seven attorney law firm with offices in
Fort Lauderdale and Orlando and satellite offices in Naples,
Fort Myers and Tampa.
Since 2009, Eric has been the host
of Condo Craze and HOAs, a weekly one hour radio show that airs
at noon each Sunday on 850 WFTL.
He is the first attorney in the
State of Florida that designed a course that certifies
condominium residents as eligible to serve on a condominium
Board of Directors and has now certified more than 10,000
Floridians all across the state. He is certified as a Circuit
Court Mediator by The Florida Supreme Court and has mediated
dozens of disputes between associations and unit owners. Eric
also devotes significant time to advancing legislation in the
best interest of Florida community association members.