Article Courtesy of Local 10 News
By Bob Norman
Published October 29, 2016
MIAMI - After nearly 20 years and more than 30 complaints
to the state with allegations ranging from rigging elections to stealing
funds, the so-called “condo crime family” has finally been stopped.
Married couple Robert and Rachel Dugger, and daughter Rachel Badilla,
pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in Miami-Dade court to conspiracy to commit
grand theft, with Badilla also pleading guilty to grand theft from the
Kennedy House condo in North Bay Village.
Badilla had been charged with forging checks to herself from the association
and stealing the money, along with using association keys to enter a vacant
unit and strip it of its kitchen and other goods.
Former state Rep. Julio Robaina, who conducted a state investigation into
condo corruption, said the Dugger family was one of the most
complained-about condo-management teams in Florida. It was Robaina, an
attorney, who dubbed the Duggers the “condo crime family,” a name he said
“It’s a big relief that they are not going to be at the Kennedy House and
they’re also not going to be able to victimize the thousands of other people
that they have been victimizing at the other communities that they manage,”
Kennedy House resident Lynn Ragusa said. “My husband and I go to work, we
pay our condo dues and they steal the money. It comes from hard-working
Ragusa was one of several condo residents who came to watch the family
members plead guilty to their crimes – and she wasn’t alone in her
disappointment that they weren’t given jail time.
The trio instead were sentenced to five years probation and 300
community-service hours, and ordered to pay more than $500,000 in
restitution and other costs. Perhaps most importantly for the condo
residents, Judge Alberto Milian also ordered them to surrender their
condo-management licenses and cease all condo work in the state of Florida
within 10 days.
If they violate probation, the Duggers face up to 15 years in prison while
Badilla could spend up to 35 years behind bars.
“They put a manual together in how to commit fraud in condominiums,” said
Jorge Brito, a retired detective who helped spark the police investigations
that nabbed the family. ”This has been a nightmare, but it’s a good day
overall for the residents of the Kennedy House. Finally, this is coming to a
closure. Today we feel better -- a little better going home tonight.”