Keith Connors

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Did This Florida HOA Steal Millions From Homeowners? Not many homeowners are big fans of their HOA. They do often keep the hood from looking like a boat yard or camp trailer park with restrictions that keep streets safer too.  There’s always a horror story once in a while about a homeowner who was fined for painting their front door the wrong shade of green or parking a van in their driveway. There have even been examples of residents losing their homes to the HOA due to continued infractions. But allegations about an HOA in Miami are a little beyond what we’re used to hearing. And, much more expensive.

The Hammock’s Community Association is one of the largest home owners groups in Florida, raking in big bucks and reigning over a huge community of over 6,500 units close to Miami. Now, several past and present board members are neck-deep in a scandal that prosecutors say swindled victims out of over two million dollars. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced a long list of charges that have been brought against five executives in this Florida HOA, including its president, 52-year-old Monica Isabel Ghilardi, 76-year-old board member Myriam Arango Rodgers, 47-year-old former board member Yoleidis Lopez Garcia, 41-year-old former president Marglli Gallego, and 45-year-old Jose Antonio Gonzalez, husband of suspect Marglli Gallego.

Gallego is accused of running two companies with funds embezzled from the HOA. Prosecutors say the case if far from closed and more arrests will be made before trial.
The investigation started back in 2021, when authorities looked into charges of services that were not being provided although fees had been paid.  Allegations of laundering money also surfaced during the probe. According to prosecutors, members of the HOA have tried to get rid of the president for years. At a January board election, hundreds of members showed up to vote the woman out, but everyone was forced to leave after a bomb threat at the polling location. After an election later that year, two thirds of the ballots were thrown out by the board.
The HOA had an annual budget of about $3.7 million dollars, until they voted into law a budget of $10 million dollars. The new budget required that homeowners pay increases of about 400% over the previous fees. Homeowners responded with a lawsuit against the changes. Source: APNews.com