Former HOA President Arrested for Grand Theft

Michelle Changar-Coe

Michelle Changar-Coe

By: Sharon Aron Baron

A former president of a Tamarac homeowners association has been arrested and charged with grand theft and fraud for stealing close to $200,000 from her community.

Mainlands Seven resident Michelle Changar-Coe, 44, was arrested last Friday after an investigation revealed that she was fraudulently signing officers’ names to checks made out to an alias and creating a fictitious payee where she could funnel funds.

“She was responsible for paying bills,” said former President Arthur Collier. “The treasurer and vice president should have signed off, but she waved them off. The treasurer was extremely busy, and Michelle didn’t give them [checks] to her anyway.

Mainlands 7 home of Changer-Coe

Mainlands 7 home of Changer-Coe

The police report states that back in May 2012, Collier had been doing a paper audit of financial records. He said that several checks appeared to be forged with his signature for association funds. He met with a detective with BSO Economic Crimes for further investigation.

On February 16, 2014, Collier was made aware of an additional photocopy of a cashed forged check that was payable to a “Michel Chandar” in the amount of $20,475.35 with a Tamarac post office box address. The check was dated May 2, 2011, with Collier’s signature but he was positive that he did not sign it.

In another instance, Changar-Coe told the community that they had to hire a “city liaison” at $2,575 per month for a period of up to 24 months: a total of $61,800. The checks were not made out to the City, but to a “Michelle A. Charger” with a nonexistent mailing address that was close to the one at Tamarac City Hall.

Resident Steve Soloff was suspicious, and informed the Board that he had visited the City of Tamarac and spoke with City Clerk Pat Teufel. Teufel told him that in her 10-year tenure with the City, she has never heard of any agreement by a homeowners association to hire a city liaison.  Teufel also stated she knew of no person named Michelle A. Charger.

An examination of the check ledger for the association’s operating account at Banco Popular revealed a theft of association funds using two fraudulent identities.  Between February 1, 2010 and October 15, 2011, five checks were written to a “Michel Chandar” totaling $23,584.85.  Between June 16, 2011 and November 15, 2013, 80 checks were written to a “Michelle Charger” totaling $155,387.00, for a total of $178,971.85.

Soloff credits homeowner and former board member Debra Sisson who made the connection between Changer-Coe and association checks written to Michelle A. Charger, the supposed City of Tamarac liaison. While Changar-Coe was President, Sisson, along with former treasurer Nancy Ballhorn, were investigating discrepancies in the association’s finances in early 2012, when a fraudulent court document was presented demanding that that they both resign immediately or face a $1 million lawsuit.

“A series of fortuitous events, beginning with the arrest of the defendant’s [Changer-Coe] husband in June 2013, which disclosed the defendant’s full legal name, led Deb to obtain evidence in October that association funds had been misappropriated,” said Soloff in a letter to residents. “There is no doubt that if Deb had not put two and two together at that time, the theft would have continued to go undiscovered.”

The current president, Lorie Whittington, wouldn’t speak to us pending the investigation, but other residents said that Changar-Coe, who has been living at the 5600 block of NW 50 ave for 14 years with her husband, are still living there. One resident stated at the association meeting that she was in fear of them because she believes they keep guns on them and have “trespassers will be shot” signs on their property.

Changar-Coe has been charged with grand theft in the first degree and four counts of fraud/impersonation.

Despite the association losing hundreds of thousands of dollars, Collier seemed hopeful.

“With all this money disappearing, we still have a good budget and have low maintenance.”

Below is a list of checks written to names that Changer-Coe was allegedly using

checks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Tamarac Talk and Coral Springs Talk. Tamarac Talk was created in 2010 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Tamarac and to give resident's a forum. We are not affiliated with the City of Tamarac. That's why this site can be occasionally opinionated and obviously open.

Connect

Follow on Twitter Find on Google+ View all Posts Visit Website
  • M

    It is not factual that former President Arthur Collier cooperated with the police in 2012. As many homeowners can attest to he was defending Michelle at that time.

  • Mac

    I am not sure where you got your information from, but it is 90% incorrect.
    Art Collier had nothing to do with uncovering anything, he had a hand in covering it up.

    • Collier’s statement is on a police report. If you’d like a copy, send me your email.

      • M

        Was Collier the one who made that specific report? What date was that report taken 2012 or 2014? Perhaps more research is required.

      • MAC

        Why not post the police report, you are posting everything else.

        • DM

          You must have a bone to pick with someone. Why don’t you send them your email and shut up?

          • MAC

            I have no bone to pick. I finally want the truth after being lied to all these years. I guess you never went to any meeting to see how the board treated the home owners. Maybe if you did you would feel the same as I do.

      • JadeWinds OwnersGroup

        Hi there. I am interested in reading the police report please.
        Please send email to:
        jadewindsaction@gmail.com

        We are a group of dissenting unit owners deeply entrenched with a major condo gone wild. Read all about it here:
        http://jadewinds.blogspot.com/

      • Tyler Harrison

        Remove the Jovel Jenkins post.

  • hoasavers

    Was there a property management company? I’ve seen too often where the news leaves that detail out and fails to acknowledge when the mgmt. co continues to allow this kind of stuff to happen.

    • In the know

      West Broward was the management company and Becker & Polykoff was the law firm.

    • Jeanne Ogrady

      Hi this story surfaced we are getting ready to hire this management co. Sal fiore please let me know if he had knowledge of this fraud. He was the property manager.

  • Happy

    Not sure who wrote this but I must agree Art Collier had nothing to do with information about the theft. All board members till this was exposed were in denial of what was happening.

  • Jeanme Ogrady

    Can u let me know if west broward management company the property manager under dal fiore at the time was implicated in this fraud. This surfaced and we r going to hire him to manage our property thanks

    • Lee

      SF was the property manager during the entire four-year period MC was forging checks. Look up case 14010842CF10A
      at the Broward Clerk of Courts. Read States Discovery Submission
      from 10/15/2014. You’ll see SF listed under the witness list. SF and WBCM were fired by the new board after MC was removed from office.

      MC is currently serving a 5-year prison sentence for this crime: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-tamarac-hoa-theft-plea-20160817-story.html