Copper Ridge Community homeowners want to know why they paid for Somerset Association Community.
In a barrage of questionable financial records, the Treasurer of the Copper Ridge Community in Valrico, along with homeowners, want to address the expenditures of their HOA funds on the nearby community called Somerset Association.
Detailed in a previous report published by the People’s Olive Branch, the public complaint as outlined in Hover in the Hillsborough County alleges that “On information and belief, individual Defendants engage in the activity of creating false and fraudulent invoices for alleged payment to vendors with amounts of HOA funds thereby being improperly converted and diverted to the benefit of individual Defendants rather than the Homeowner Members of the HOA.”
Additionally, according to public filing under statement of facts section 11 subsection c states, “Plaintiff Catchings in her official capacity as Treasurer also found a questionable invoice dated 01/07/2020. The Invoice was paid by Copper Ridge/HOA Brandon Association. It does not show the director who submitted the Invoice. This invoice was for the use of the Farm Bureau facility in 2020. Copper Ridge/Brandon HOA did not meet at the Farm Bureau location in 2020 due to COVID. The most alarming issue about this invoice is that it is paying Somerset Homeowners Association rental space fee, this community does not belong to Copper Ridge/Brandon HOA and it should not have been approved to be paid.“
The People’s Olive Branch recently reach out to FirstService Residential’s property manager for the Copper Ridge/Brandon HOA community, a Mr. Vince Pino and asked 3 questions for them to answer and comment on. As some homeowner’s have stated, “They deserve answers!”
Below is a list of the email questions.
“In your official capacity as a property manager at FirstService Residential, how was this allowed to be paid and why would you or your superiors not question and prohibit such an expenditure?”
“According to your Regional Director at FirstService Residential, Rachel Mayer in an email exchange with the HOA board Treasurer Mrs. Catchings, FirstService Residential’s Treasury department has complete control of the bank accounts and does not allow the board members to review and audit expenditures via the bank accounts directly.
If so, why is your organization allowing questionable financial expenses that do not coincide with the goals of the community members or the membership?”
“Why would FirstService Residential prohibit the Treasurer from exercising her fiduciary duties supported by the State of Florida, while at the same time, allowing expenses that are inconsistent with the membership’s goals?”
The People’s Olive Branch has not yet received any response from Mr. Pino or anyone else at FirstService Residential. However, we are very hopeful that we can update our readers with their comments and answers as soon as they respond.
This is just one of many financial records that are alleged to be inconsistent with proper records keeping and access for a Treasurer of a Corporation.
In another expenditure, according to public filings, the Director of the Copper Ridge/Brandon HOA board, a Mr. Thomas Hirtzel, allegedly submitted an invoice to the property management company for an amount that was inconsistent with the records provided by the vendor Unleashed Fencing. It was alleged that “A Homeowner drove to Unleashed Fencing, the company who fixed the fence and asked if they could send the Treasurer a receipt of the invoice.” As stated in public filings.
When the Treasurer of the HOA board received the record submitted via email by Unleashed Fencing, it did not match the same dollar value as the invoice submitted by the Director Thomas Hirtzel, to the Property Management Company FirstService Residential, as it is alleged. Thomas Hirtzel’s invoice is alleged to be of a larger dollar value than what Unleashed Fencing charged the community and what was provided to the Treasurer during the homeowners’ request. Link to this filing.
In a new filing, on December 2nd, the Treasurer’s attorneys reiterated that, “we request any information regarding that transaction.” Which may imply, that there are additional documents on this matter that are yet to be received.
Under the same filing, Exhibit B, section 11 brings into question the Vice President of the board, Mr. Shawn Goeckner, where it states, “From other communications, there appears to be many requests for reimbursement by Shawn Goeckner, but there are no back up documentation showing how much he paid or from what bank account or credit card he paid from. If the Association is paying him back, there should be documentation to support these expenditures.”
From what is available in public filings, one can surmise that these records are yet to be received, even after multiple requests by homeowners, as it is alleged. You can also learn more about how their last board election was handled in this report.
This is an ongoing investigation, if you have questionable records acquired by your property management company or HOA board and would like to have our team of experts review the documents, reach out to us at email@example.com