MIAMI -- A relative of the former president of the Hammocks Community Association is now facing charges himself after being accused of helping to cover upby the HOA's leaders, the state attorney's office said Friday.
Kevin Alzate, 32, the cousin of ex-HOA President Marglli Gallego, has been charged with perjury by contradictory statements, fabricating physical evidence and resisting an officer without violence, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle's office said in a written statement. It was not immediately clear if bond has been set in the case.
Alzate's arrest marks the sixth person who has been snared inn and malfeasance at the Hammocks HOA, one of the largest in South Florida.
"Not only did Mr. Alzate's alleged activities allow our charged HOA Board members to continue their thefts, but the actions were a deliberate slap in the face to our Circuit Court Judges and our courts," Rundle said in the statement. "Our laws and criminal procedures, created to facilitate justice, apply to everyone."
Financial crimes spurs criminal charges at Hammocks HOA
The Hammocks HOA oversees 40 communities and over 6,500 units in West Kendall, and is one of the largest in the state.
Prosecutors have alleged that Gallego and several HOA officials were engaged in fraudulent activities worth at least $2 million in improper funds that were apparently used for personal use by the group's leaders.
Investigators have accused Gallego, while serving as the association's treasurer from 2015 to 2017, of redirecting funds for her own personal use.
Gallego is also accused of using association resources to pursue her enemies, harass rival association members and sue people she felt were targeting her.
Hammocks HOA snared in criminal probe
Prosecutors alleged in court documents last year that that the five people accused of financial crime said the group fostered several years of legal delays by association employees, the HOA Board of Directors and the HOA's legal team.
According to Rundle's statement, the delays were designed to avoid producing the required financial documents necessary to facilitate the criminal investigation despite judicial orders to do so.
Rundle said Alzate was an integral part of this scheme because he supplied notarized affidavits demanding payments from law
enforcement that were used as a basis to refuse to comply with lawful production requests from law enforcement.
The HOA specifically supported costs of producing the documents by submitting sworn, notarized affidavits of Alzate. the HOA's attorneys also repeatedly represented to circuit court judges that Alzate was the custodian of records.
During a court hearing against Alzate as the custodian of records for failure to produce HOA records, he swore that he was not and had never, in fact, handled production of document requests for the HOA, the statement said.
"Mr. Alzate's affidavits contributed to lengthy delays in the investigation, excessive and frivolous litigation and obstruction resulting in further victimization of the innocent members of the Hammocks community," the statement said.
New Florida law targets HOA governance
The alleged wrongdoing at the Hammocks HOA fueled thethat attempts to crackdown on misdeeds of HOA leaders.
Known as the Homeowners' Association Bill of Rights, the measure took effect on Oct. 1 andof HOAs and their leaders.
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