By Bill Coates - email@example.com
Published: October 7, 2009 at 8:23 pm
A Casa Grande homeowners association was placed in receivership, following allegations that board members drained funds for their own benefit - including what was described as the “theft” of more than $600,000.
Pinal County Superior Court Judge Robert Olson’s Sept. 30 order placed a receiver in charge of the Desert Carmel Lot Owners Association.
Along with other reasons, Olson cited a board member’s unauthorized withdrawal of $665,000 from association’s account.
“The court finds that the parties controlling the DC Lot Owners Association were grossly negligent in failing to protect to, protect, preserve or detect these withdrawals, which constituted the bulk of the liquid assets of the association,” Olson said in his order. “This alone justifies the appointment of a receiver.”
The defendants include Las Vegas developer Shawn Lampman and Denver real-estate consultant Robert Bealmear. Together they own most of the 3,500 lots in the Carmel subdivision. They also continue to sit on the three-member DC Lot Owners board.
A third board member, also a defendant, Thomas Lozzi, recently resigned. Other defendants include companies in which 44-year-old Lampman and 65-year-old Bealmear had an interest.
Desert Carmel’s original developer established the community in the 1980s. But it went bankrupt and only 100 or so homes have been built since. The thousand of unsold lots changed hands several times since. Most ended up with Lampman and Bealmer, known in the suit as “majority owners.”
Fifty-seven Desert Carmel residents and “minority” lot owners sued Lampman, Bealmear and others in November 2007, claiming they had used their board memberships to enrich themselves at the expense of the community. They claimed the board members - the majority owners - had conspired to drive down property values to acquire more lots at a discount. They planned to re-subdivide and redevelop Desert Carmel, according to claims in the lawsuit.