Cory Lake Records Request Heading Back To Court

Article Courtesy of The Tampa Tribune


Published June 14, 2008

CORY LAKE ISLES - The Cory Lake Isles Property Owners Association and residents who are suing it are headed back to court June 24.

Developer Gene Thomason turned over the financial records of Cory Lakes Limited, which billed homeowners for management and security services for the gated New Tampa community. But lawyer Mark Basurto, who represents the seven homeowners who are suing over access to the records, said the documents raised more questions than they answered.

Basurto called the documents "woefully inadequate." Specifically, he complained that Cory Lakes Limited provided canceled checks, but no bank statements.

"Without statements, there's no record of how much money Cory Lakes Limited collected or spent on the community," he said. "We need to see the money that's coming in and going out from those accounts."

The residents say their association dues were deposited directly into Cory Lakes Limited's account, so they should have access to the company's spending records, tax returns, contracts, audits and bank statements.

Basurto said Thomason failed to provide payroll information, such as employee time sheets and copies of W-2 forms. He also asked for more detailed accounting of how Thomason used numerous credit cards and accounts charged to the homeowners.

"Why were homeowners paying for four different telephone companies? We're talking thousands and thousands of dollars," he said.

He also questioned why homeowners had to foot the bill for bad-check charges against Cory Lakes Limited. "Not only do these charges appear inappropriate, they also appear excessive," Basurto wrote to Thomason's lawyer.

He has asked Judge Frank Gomez to order the association and Cory Lakes Limited to produce all of the records outlined in the Florida statutes.

The association's lawyer, Philip Friedman, has filed a motion asking the judge to send the case to binding arbitration. "This suit is improper, as any dispute between an owner and association must be submitted to binding arbitration," he wrote.