Representing Texas Homeowners Associations & those aggrieved by them

Attorney Trey Wilson handles lawsuits and pre-litigation disputes involving enforcement of restrictive covenants/deed restrictions, Homeowner Association member voting/ballot/proxy issues, HOA Board elections, collection of assessments/dues, placement and removal of liens, CCR/Declaration disputes, developer HOA control/turnover, ACC approval, HOA Board governance, Abuses by Homeowners Associations and drafting/amendment of HOA documents including By-laws.


$666,446 in HOA Funds Missing -- FBI Joins Search

The Albemarle County Police Department has opened a joint criminal investigation with the FBI to find out what happened to the $666,446 missing from the Glenmore Community Association’s coffers.

An Albemarle detective and the FBI met with the association’s new treasurer on Tuesday, said police spokesman Lt. Todd Hopwood. The wife of Michael Comer, the former association treasurer who has been reported missing, also made her first public statements about his disappearance.

Comer, 45, was reported missing July 1, the date of a meeting he missed to discuss the association’s first external financial audit. The results of an expanded audit showed that money was removed without authorization over the last four years from operating and reserve accounts.

Comer also was the president of the Glenmore Country Club. Kandi Comer, his wife, is a former professional golfer and the golf director at the club. According to Albemarle County property records, the Comers own a home on Milton Village Lane near Glenmore.

Kandi Comer said in a written statement Tuesday that the family didn’t notice anything suspicious before the disappearance of her husband.

“It is frustrating because we are thinking and worrying about Mike 24 hours a day and want to do something to help find him, but all we can do at this point is continue to pray that he is safe and will come home,” the release said.

Kandi Comer reported her husband missing at 7:30 p.m. July 1, more than seven hours after he reportedly left to take a hike originating from his Wintergreen Resort vacation home. Police found Michael Comer’s unlocked car with his keys and cell phone inside at the house, but didn’t find him in the home or in the surrounding woods during a two-day search.

Hopwood said “obviously the disappearance is part” of the investigation into the missing funds. Albemarle police Sgt. Tim Aylor, the detective handling the case, said the case will require an “extensive investigation.”

Trevor Joscelyne, the association’s president, said the association collects $766 a year from about 720 lot owners for maintenance of the common areas and security. Joscelyne said the association is planning to delay road maintenance to make up for the missing expenditures, which were transferred from the association’s accounts to Glenmore Associates. According to a memo sent to Glenmore residents from Joscelyne and the association’s board of directors, some payments from the country club, which is owned by Glenmore Associates, were recorded but not received.

Glenmore Associates, where Michael Comer was a senior official, announced its intention Monday to repay the association in full. According to the association’s letter, Glenmore Associates will have to sell or refinance assets to repay the entire amount due to the economy. The letter said the company already has paid $50,000, plans to pay another $205,000 in the next two weeks and the remainder with interest within the next year.

“Your board of directors is evaluating this proposed settlement as a preferred alternative to taking legal action to recoup the losses,” the memo said. “We are mindful of the potential cost and duration of litigation, as well as the distinct possibility that it could lead to a devaluation of Glenmore property values far in excess of the approximately $900 per residence that is missing.”

Jeff Gaffney, a top official with Glenmore Associates and Michael Comer’s brother-in-law, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment for this story.

The community association’s 2009 budget is $732,000. According to the homeowner letter, the association has $488,000 in available funds as of July 1, which is “sufficient cash on hand (to) continue operations for the time being.”

The Glenmore Community Association was incorporated in 1992; Michael Comer became treasurer in 1994. An external audit wasn’t ordered before because previous directors thought the $10,000 price tag would have been burdensome, the letter said, so the association relied on the treasurer to keep accurate books.

According to the association’s memo, the board didn’t look at bank statements because they trusted Michael Comer. The board hasn’t been able to find the paperwork for a $1 million fidelity bond that the former treasurer said was in place to cover half of its annual dues plus accumulated reserves, the letter said. The board now is taking steps to secure the necessary bond.

Kandi Comer said in Tuesday’s statement that her husband’s disappearance has been unspeakably difficult for their family. She described Michael Comer as an honest, hardworking man and a devoted father.

Nelson County Sheriff David Brooks said Tuesday that the investigation into Michael Comer’s disappearance remains open without any leads. Brooks said his office is working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to see if Comer may have left the country.

New Advance, Lynchnurg, VA.