Police: Dozens of Triangle HOAs were victims of fraud

Ed Crump Image
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
HOA money is missing
Homeowners are baffled and frustrated as HOA money goes missing.

GARNER (WTVD) -- Police are investigating possible fraud by a homeowner's association management company in Wake and Johnston counties.

Dozens of HOAs have already been identified as possible victims.

The Village at Aversboro in Garner is the neighborhood credited with sparking the investigation.

The community's homeowner's association president says earlier this year the board decided to end its nine-year relationship with Kornerstone Community Management.

When Vice President Diane Turner started trying to transfer bank accounts to a new management company, she was stunned by what she discovered.

"We found out that the bank statements we were receiving from PNC were fraudulent," Turner said. "They had been doctored by Kornerstone and what we were receiving was not what the bank had sent."

Now, board members say the residents of the Village at Aversboro are out $150,000. Fortunately, there is insurance in place that may cover most if not all of the losses.

The board notified Garner Police of the missing money and investigators started looking into it.

"We've worked very, very hard and I think that you've seen already a very attractive community, people are involved in the Garner community," said Jeff Swain, HOA president at Village at Aversboro. "Yes, we feel very strongly we've been victimized."

Now, there are 29 neighborhoods that did business with Kornerstone Community Management involved in the investigation.

The Kornerstone office is locked and dark and police say the company is out of business.

"Never in their wildest dreams would we expect that," Swain said. "You know, our accounts would be emptied by someone who apparently is criminal activity."

So far, no charges are pending.

"We really need to make sure we have identified all of our victims," said Capt. Joe Binns of the Garner Police Department. "We have a lot of paperwork, a lot of records to go through. And we may identify more victims through those records because obviously some people could have stopped using this company years ago and they could also still be a victim of this fraud."

Garner Police say there is so much paperwork, they are now getting help from the State Bureau of Investigation Financial Crimes Unit.

Any HOA that has ever done business with Kornerstone is asked to contact Garner Police.

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