Prevent fraud community association

Safeguard your association against fraud

Many community associations these days are besieged by owners who are delinquent on their assessments. That's only one recessionary woe. Boards need to be extra alert for fraud and embezzlement.

The temptations are greater than ever, said Arlen Lasinsky, a certified public accountant and director of litigation and forensic services for Frost, Ruttenberg & Rothblatt PC, in Chicago.

“The standard reasons someone commits fraud are drugs, alcohol, gambling, boyfriend, girlfriend and medical bills,” he said. “Lately, with the recession, it's also to buy groceries and make the mortgage payment.”

Anyone who has access to an association's assets, from petty cash to long-term savings, potentially could steal it. Most people won't. The ones who do nearly always meet three conditions: incentive, opportunity and rationalization. These conditions are known in forensic circles as the “fraud triangle.”

Prevent fraud community association –