MIAMI-DADE COUNTY – There is a joint effort that includes prosecutors, elected officials, and state lawmakers to protect the millions of Floridians who are living in communities with condominium and homeowners associations.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said more needs to be done. New proposed legislation aims to criminalize much of the corruption that Florida residents are reporting in their communities.

“Shockingly, fraudulent activity in association elections, even blatant fraud, are not crimes in Florida,” Fernandez Rundle said. “They’re not crimes.”

The effort strengthened after residents in Miami-Dade County’s The Hammocks, a planned community of over 60,000, stood up to their association and submitted evidence of corruption.

“It feels like nobody was listening. It was terrible. You feel lonely. They have friends; they have power. The board in power, they lien your property, they fine your house,” said Ana Danton, a Hammocks resident, and activist.

Prosecutors charged several of the former board members with racketeering, money laundering, and theft. Investigators believe they stole millions of association funds sometimes by writing checks to vendors for phony work and getting kickbacks.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle speaks at the press-conference.

“It is an incredible injustice,” Miami-Dade Commissioner Roberto Gonzalez said on Friday. “I can tell you from experience to have put everything forward to purchase your own home and then be taken advantage of.”