Bimini Bay developer got HOA cash on day of arrest
Article Courtesy of The Orlando Sentinel
By Mary Shanklin
Published March 27, 2013
The developer of the half-built Bimini Bay resort in Davenport withdrew more than $16,000 from the homeowner association's accounts the same day he was arrested earlier this month and accused of stealing from homeowners' utility payments, according to association records.
on multiple counts of theft; in September, he was charged with four counts of theft from the HOA based on an audit of the development's utility records.
Despite his arrests, Meadows has continued to preside over the homeowner association.
While he was in jail last week, Bimini Bay homeowners called an emergency meeting and replaced him on the board with someone else. But Meadows sent the new HOA board members cease-and-desist letters and had their names removed from the incorporation documents on file with the Florida Department of State's Division of Corporations.
At a meeting of the newly formed HOA board Monday night, about a half dozen residents on the newly formed board decided a judge needed to grant them the authority to oversee the association. They decided to set up two accounts through an attorney's office — one account for HOA fees that Meadows would not have access to, and one to establish a legal fund to fight him.
The two-hour meeting ended in tears for one resident.
"We've been fighting this fight for so long and it feels like we're on a treadmill going nowhere."
The audit of utility records showed that Meadows had collected at least $34,387 from residents of Bimini Bay and a sister community, Island Club West, for payment of utility services, said Steve Menge, an investigator with the State Attorney's Office in Polk County.
After the courts appointed a receiver to operate the utilities, Meadows withdrew an additional $7,500 from the utility accounts and deposited that money into Meadows Development, Menge said.