Condo property manager sent to prison for theft

Article Courtesy of The Sun Sentinel

By Daniel Vasquez

Published May 15, 2012


Steal from a condominium association, go to prison: That's the message sent by a judge who sentenced a former South Florida property manager to nearly two years in prison for theft of about $500,000 from bank accounts of the community she was supposed to be protecting.

On Friday, 49-year-old Lourdes Rodriguez of Pembroke Pines was sentenced in Miami-Dade Circuit Court to 21 months in the state penitentiary for one count of first degree grand theft. Rodriguez pled guilty to the charge on May 10, according to a press release from Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

"Sadly, this trusted condo employee started using the association's monies as her personal piggy bank," Rundle said in the release. "It is truly appalling that the very person hired to help the condo owners make ends meet instead stole the money needed to keep their condo running. ."

Authorities say Rodriguez opened credit card accounts in the name of the Atlantic II association, and had unauthorized payroll checks issued in her name, to pay personal expenses, including possible gambling debts. They say she then used association funds she had access to as a part of her job to pay the credit card bills. Police uncovered $466,309 in unauthorized transactions.

The board president of Atlantic II declined to be interviewed for this report.

As part of her sentence, Rodriguez was ordered to pay restitution to the association and its insurance companies, which had paid out on policies to cover the losses.