Miami-Dade launches ﬁrst blow in fight against condominium fraud
By Enrique Flor
20 September 2016
police squad of Miami-Dade Police officers combating condominium fraud
makes their first arrest from an el Nuevo Herald and Univision 23
investigative series on 'Condominium Fraud' on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016.
C.M. Guerrero el Nuevo Herald
Miami-Dade police launched their first blow in the fight to end local
condominium fraud with the arrest Tuesday of a former accounting
assistant accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the condo
first-degree grand theft and organized crime
Leslie Navarro, accused of stealing $148,000 from the Hammocks
proprietors’ association, a popular residential area in Kendall, was
arrested early on Tuesday by a newly created special police unit. She
was charged with first-degree grand theft and organized crime to
defraud more than $50,000.
Police said Navarro used the stolen money to make a variety of
purchases at supermarkets, toy stores, department stores and a popular
underwear store in Hialeah. The case was first reported as part of a
joint series called “Condos de pesadilla” (Condo nightmares) by el
Nuevo Herald and Univision 23.
in less than a year stole $148,000
"She [Navarro] opened a bank account to divert money belonging to
Hammocks’ residents, and in less than a year stole $148,000," said
Miami-Dade Police Chief Juan Perez, shortly after the arrest. "We’re
going to continue investigating every time we receive these types of
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez noted the work carried out by the county police’s special unit.
This is the first arrest but it won’t be the last
"This is the first arrest but it won’t be the last," said Gimenez. "But
we need help from Florida’s state government so we can set forth
legislative reform that can help us bring people committing these
crimes to justice."
According to police, Navarro created a company in December 2014 and
named it Hammocks Community Association Properties LLC., a name that is
similar to the corporation that is in charge of managing the
condominium: Hammocks Community Association Incorporated.
A month later, Navarro opened an account for her corporation at Bank of
America, where she began depositing maintenance payments made by
Hammock condominium dwellers.
All of these deposits were channeled through Association Capital
Resources LLC, a debt collecting company, headquartered in
Jacksonville, that had been contracted by the Hammocks proprietors’
The investigation documented that Navarro spent part of the money on
extended shopping sprees. For instance, on May 6, 2015, money from the
account paid for items at a Macy’s in Miami totaling $487, police say.
The next day, police said money from the account was used to pay for a
shopping spree at a Macy’s in Hialeah, where the bill was $680. Another
$235 was spent at Victoria’s Secret and $73 at Bath & Body Works,
On Tuesday, Marglli Gallego, current treasurer of the Hammocks association, praised police efforts.
"Justice was finally made!," Gallego said. "This arrest sets an
important precedent in our community. Now, it’s clear that authorities
will arrest and take people committing fraud in Miami-Dade condominiums