Plea deals in HOA scheme reveal vast conspiracy - News - ReviewJournal.com
"The players behind the brazen plan covered nearly every angle in their desire to swindle the unsuspecting associations out of millions of dollars in legal, construction and community management contracts, the agreements show.
Getting friendly straw buyers elected to association boards was crucial to the scheme because the conspirators needed votes to steer business their way."
The "players" were lawyers, contractors, property managers, real estate agents, straw voters, and whoever else they needed to completely subvert and take over the political structure of dozens of homeowner associations. So what? I'll tell you so what. Maybe it takes a big conspiracy to take over dozens of HOAs and run a multi-million dollar fraud, but it only takes a handful of people to take over one HOA and turn it into an ATM or a banana republic. Why? Because of the culture of non-participation and the pervasive sense of alienation and apathy in HOAs and condo associations; because there is practically no oversight of the actions of these boards; and because sooner or later, sleazy people figure out that HOAs and condo associations are like low-hanging fruit, full of sugar and ripe for the picking. I suppose the message that emerges from the Las Vegas prosecution will be that the feds have taken down one of those "isolated cases." But the truth is that this is they have chopped off the tip of the iceberg.