Article Courtesy of The
Published January 21, 2022
Naples property management company that oversees more than two dozen communities
in Collier County is shuttered and its owners have apparently left the country.
Meanwhile, the associations have filed a restraining order and are trying to
recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars entrusted to the company.
A $100,000-plus civil lawsuit by The Commodore Club charges financial misdeeds
by the company, American Property Management Services LLC of Naples, that
wreaked havoc against the club and its condo association.
The company's website says APMS is a full-service property management company,
managing condominium, homeowners associations and commercial properties in
Florida. It opened in 2008.
The suit, filed Jan. 3, claims the misdeeds were carried out by Orlando
Miserendino Ortiz and his wife, Lina Munoz Posada, acting as officials of APMS.
The couple's Tamiami Trail East office was locked and the Collier County
Sheriff's Office had affixed an eviction notice from the Collier County
Sheriff's Office to the front door on Tuesday.
A temporary restraining order against APMS lists 26 Collier County condominium
associations as plaintiffs. It was filed Jan. 11 before Judge Lauren Brodie in
Collier County Court and asks for protection by freezing association accounts at
Wells Fargo Bank.
The associations' legal actions could potentially include thousands of
The temporary restraining order said AMPS established bank accounts at Wells
Fargo Bank "allegedly for the benefit of the Associations. However, the
Management Company established itself as the sole authorized user of the
The suit said that effectively cut the associations off from accessing or
getting statements on their funds.
"The Associations have good cause to believe and fear that the Management
Company already has or may wrongfully or unlawfully transfer funds or dissipate
the Association's financial assets absent an immediate court order protecting
same," the restraining order said.
The order freezing the Wells Fargo accounts was granted.
An issue of trust
"We entrusted them," Laura Hoffstaetter Rigsby, president of the Royal Bay
Villas Condo Association in south Naples. "All the stories are very similar."
She said that, going by the funds missing in just her 90-unit community, about
$600,000, there is the potential of up to $50 million in missing condo
association funds across the 26 named associations involved.
Some of the communities listed have 100 to 550 homes.
Rigsby said she was tipped off in December that something wasn't right.
She said the association has been told that initial contact has been made by a
number of federal agencies, specifically the FBI, Secret Service, Internal
Revenue Service and the U.S. Postal Service.
The association's reserve account was drained, she said. "There was $10 in
there. We were expected to have $300,000."
The association's operating account had $90,000 but was also expected to contain
Royal Bay Villas is investigating, she said, and waiting for Wells Fargo to
provide information on the frozen accounts.
The community's funds have been frozen, she said, until Ortiz and Posada can be
served with summonses, which have been issued.
"We're starting to piece it together," she said.
Rigsby filed a complaint with a investigator from the Collier County Sheriff's
Office. That report is not yet available, the Sheriff's Office said.
"All the stories are very similar," she said of the other communities involved.
"We had no reason to believe foul play. He was highly recommended to us."
A local Realtor familiar with APMS was shocked the situation went on as long as
it appears to.
"I'm surprised it took so long," James Hinson of Naples said. "The communities
have no means of taking care, to pay out vendors."
Hinson, whose own community of Abaco Bay off Bayshore Drive in Naples has been
affected, said home sales could be hindered and possibly leave a person with a
pending home sale without a residence to move into.
"The new owner could get hit from no fault of their own," he said, if the
community's funds are locked or non-existent and special assessments need to be
levied to owners.
"Someone is trying to buy a home for their family and they're getting a
mortgage, well, the lender doesn't care," Hinson said. "They're going to want to
see that the money is there and it's adequate."
Those levels will be checked a few days before a sale is closed, he said.
"If they see that those funds have gone down dramatically, or ... if there's a
litigation involved, they're not going to fund that," Hinson said. "
Hinson said there's also the community aspect where the grass is still growing,
the pool needs to be serviced, there is an expectation that these properties are
not going to go to disrepair.
"But how do you do that, whenever you have to have a management company to pay
these vendors and you can't?" he asked.
Condo associations that entrust management companies give the businesses wide
latitude, via a signed agreement, to pay bills, collect funds and perform other
fiduciary roles. Funds collected include association fees paid by home and condo
owners that can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars usually paid
Ortiz and Posada could not be reached for comment.
Phone calls to the company were interrupted by a Verizon network recording that
the wireless customer being called was not available "at this time" and emails
to a company-listed address bounced back undelivered.
Rigsby said office workers at the company's now shuttered office had been
telling clients that Ortiz and Posada had been mostly out of the country since
January 2021 due to the health of a family member in South America.
She was hoping that the locked office would reopen to retrieve items belonging
to community members.
"They have unit keys from some of the members," she said.
In the suit The Commodore Club Association, off Harbour Drive along Moorings Bay
in Naples, claims APMS committed fraudulent educement, embezzlement and breach
Those actions have caused the association's community to "suffer significant
Commodore's complaint said that the duties agreed upon by APMS included:
billing and collections of common expenses, special
assessments, reserves, charges, rentals and other payments from unit owners
and other funds owed the association;
depositing funds collected into accounts at one or more
payment of bills and costs;
ensure that all required insurance be carried and
maintained in full force;
helping unit owners and the association comply with all
laws, statutes, ordinances and rules.
The suit claims APMS breached its agreement with the association by not timely
paying bills, including the association's fidelity insurance policy.
Furthermore, the suit claims the company breached state statute by opening bank
accounts in the company's name rather than the association's.
Got a break
Rigsby said her association got a break in one respect.
"We were lucky," she said. "We have fiduciary insurance. I called our agent and
asked 'is our insurance paid?' They said 'Yes'."
Rigsby and Hinson said their respective communities have retained new property
The issue is, Rigsby said, how do you proceed when funds are locked up?
"We've no money to pay our bills. We're just stuck right now," she said. "We've
applied for a line of credit."
Rigsby said one of her biggest concerns was letting other communities know about
"We want people to be aware that this happened," she said. "Just don't assume
that everything is OK."