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Hammocks Association receiver discloses findings to Miami-Dade circuit judge

Hammocks Association receiver shares financial records
Hammocks Association receiver shares financial records 03:24

MIAMI - The court-appointed receiver assigned to handle the Hammocks Association in West Kendall's alleged corruption disclosed his findings after two weeks of work.

Circuit Judge Beatrice Butchko was in shock after learning during a court hearing Tuesday, that financial documents were found hidden in the floor at the Hammocks HOA office.

"What?" yelled judge Butcho when receiver David Gersten, assigned by the court to take over the Hammocks community, told her that they found out about more documents hidden in other parts of the property.

"This was not a surprise for me because I have gone through the documents," said Ana Danton to CBS4's Ivan Taylor about the findings. 

Danton is the homeowner who filed the civil lawsuit against Hammocks Association asking for a receiver to take control after hikes of 300 to 400% for maintenance fees. 

"There is space between the floor and the lower level and there used to be a small storage. They wanted to make sure nobody would find anything." 

Tuesday's hearing was held so the new receiver could update the judge on changes made since taking control.

Over 200 homeowners watched it via zoom. They learned what the receiver and his committee has accomplished in a period of two weeks, including the Thanksgiving holiday.

"He got rid of the entire office (staff hired by the association), we got rid of all the abusive security, we got rid of the disrespectful pool attendants," said Michael Kaufman, the attorney hired by Danton and other homeowners through the civil lawsuit.

"We discovered that the association requested $1.5 million loan from Popular Bank, which is stunning. No non-profit should be asking to borrow money to cover operating expenses."

According to Danton, the investigation will uncover what the funds were used for - and what happened to the money collected from the overwhelming increase in monthly maintenance.

That increase, she said, led to over 20 homeowners losing their homes to foreclosure. 

This is the next phase Judge Butchko wants the receiver to investigate, especially any foreclosures starting in 2017. 

The next hearing about new findings is scheduled for January of 2023.

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