Neighbors want to know where HOA fees went


News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, April 3, 2013

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW) -- A Columbia County neighborhood is still trying to figure out were $192,000 has gone. The money was collected from homeowners' fees, and even though the incident was reported four months ago, no one is in jail.

The HOA president says more than just money is missing -- so is a lot of trust.

"I would love to resign, but cowards resign," said Tom Gorta, president of the HOA.

So he'll stay on the board to try to fix it.

"I want to leave this board with the problem corrected," Gorta said.

Authorities have been trying to correct the problems for the last four months and they say tax season is prolonging their efforts.

"This case was given to an accountant almost a month ago, and the accountant is obviously very busy. He wasn't keeping his schedule clear expecting this to fall in his lap," said a Columbia County investigator.

Neighbors now agree that patience will be the key in getting their money back. They just hope it won't take four years to get the to the bottom of it. That was how long neighbors think it took for someone to take their money.

"It should've been caught sooner ... it wasn't. We're sitting here and we are out of a lot of money," said a neighbor.

And while neighbors and Gorta disagree about a lot of things, this is the one time they see eye to eye.

"In all honesty, we should've caught it earlier," Gorta said.

Gorta said he heard from the suspect earlier this year and she apologized to him for taking the money. When asked how he could let this slip by he said -- trust.

Investigators say because of the suspect's cooperation, she isn't in jail. They say cases like this involve a lot of detail. They need to follow the paper trail, and the treasurer is the only that can help them with that. Once they have everything figured out, they say she will face charges.


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