Boynton Beach police charge former HOA president with stealing $166,646 from condo association

Article Courtesy of The Sun Sentinel 

By Erika Pesantes and Jerome Burdi

Published July 21, 2009


BOYNTON BEACH - He's got the famous name, but not the money.

Mark R. Hilton III, of Boynton Beach, stole more than $166,000 from Casablanca Isles Condominium Association bank accounts and treated himself to trips to Disney World, artwork, jewelry and cash advances, police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said. He was the former condominium association president and bookkeeper there.

Around 4 a.m. Tuesday, Hilton was arrested and taken to the Palm Beach County Jail where he remained on grand theft and scheme to defraud charges, pending a $100,000 bond.

Police said he made $166,646 in unauthorized credit card purchases tied to the condo association over the course of a year.

Hilton is serving two years' probation, following a year in prison on unrelated grand theft charges. He was released from prison in January, records show. That conviction stemmed from a 2006 Delray Beach case where Hilton stole $13,252 from an air-conditioning company that he worked for as the account manager.

Neighbors said Hilton, who has been living at Casablanca for more than 15 years, disappeared about the time of his conviction in that incident. He was dismissed from his duties as president and bookkeeper of Casablanca Isles when the association discovered he had been imprisoned.

During the arrest Tuesday at Hilton's Boynton Beach home, detectives found numerous unauthorized credit cards, as well as watches, necklaces and sculptures he bought with association funds, police said.

A woman leaving a condo Tuesday identified herself as Hilton's wife, but she declined to comment before taking her beagle for a walk. A neighbor who rents at Casablanca and lives in a nearby unit lamented the theft.

"It's sad to hear that. A lot of people need new roofs," said James Harwood, 25, "That's pretty ridiculous."

Hilton's arrest is the result of a year-long investigation by Boynton Beach Police Detective Lorinda Broberg, who pored over thousands of documents to uncover Hilton's actions, Slater said.