JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. -- The former president of a Johnson County homeowners association (HOA) faces multiple charges for allegedly stealing more than $20,000 from the HOA’s checking account.
Joseph Girgenti, who used to serve as president of the Innisbrooke Homeowners Association, faces four felony counts of theft, one felony count of check deception and a misdemeanor charge of conversion.
An investigation by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department started in October 2018, when the owner of Primary Grounds Landscaping and Lawn Care approached other members of the Innisbrooke HOA, saying his company hadn’t been paid all year for contracted work. The landscaping company was owned more than $20,000, according to court documents.
Court records show Allen Irrigation Company, Inc. and Leistner Aquatic Services and also not been paid for services during the same time. Investigators also learned the HOA’s P.O. box had also been closed due to non payment, and the association’s insurance had lapsed because Girgenti had not paid the premiums.
Investigators learned Girgenti had served as the HOA board president since 2013 and was the only person authorized to write checks from the associations bank account. The board had no treasurer at that time.
Court records show Girgenti wrote 23 checks to himself totaling $21,594.57 between May and and September of 2018. The checks were allegedly made to look like reimbursements for Girgenti paying out of pocket for landscaping and maintenance work around the Center Grove area subdivision.
Investigators say bank records show Girgenti had been spending the money on various personal expenses like pet supplies, groceries, gas stations, home improvement stores, fast food and others.
Court documents say Girgenti repaid $13,900 to the HOA account after he was confronted about the matter, but $7,694.57 remains unaccounted for.
Residents in the Innisbrooke subdivision said Wednesday that rumors about Girgenti and the HOA’s finances had been floating around for months.
“As far as I’m concerned, he should have been in jail a long time ago.” said Innisbrooke resident, Clarence Moore.
“I’d heard rumors about this within the past year or so and now it’s come to fruition,” said another Innisbrooke resident who asked not to be identified. “I knew he was going to be arrested at some point.”
Current members of he HOA board declined an on-camera interview Wednesday, but released a statement outlining financial security and oversight measures instated in light of the case.
Those measures are outlined in the statement below:
- Financial Policies were immediately created and approved by all board members elected in February.
- We were advised by the bank that they do not allow dual signatures. All board members were given auto alerts to be notified when deposits, with drawls and automatic transactions take place. They also can look at the account at any time to see history, balance, etc.
- All bills are approved by at least two members prior to payment. With the exception of a few vendors, all checks are issued from the bank electronically. An email is then sent to a member other than the one requesting the authorization for approval.
- Although each transaction is approved, the financials including the bank statements, invoices, and checks and are reviewed and approved at the quarterly meetings.
- A website was created with authorized access to all members to view quarterly financials.
- Vendors were given board members’ phone numbers and email to correspond if there is a payment issue.
- Our board consists of 7 members elected in February. This will ensure we have multiple people reviewing documents and payments.
- Backup files are created and given to the accountant.
- In addition: We are in compliance with the secretary of state and with the IRS as of June 2019.