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Tampa Car Accident Lawyers > Blog > Criminal Defense > Owners of American Property Management Services Facing Federal Fraud Charges for Theft of Millions from Southwest Florida Community Associations

Owners of American Property Management Services Facing Federal Fraud Charges for Theft of Millions from Southwest Florida Community Associations


The owners of American Property Management Services are alleged to have stolen millions of dollars from dozens of Southwest Florida community associations. They have since been indicted by a federal grand jury in a 17-count indictment detailing the alleged scheme. The owners have been charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and failure to file income tax returns.

Previously, the community associations had filed a lawsuit against APMS. 35 community associations in Collier and Lee counties filed suit against APMS in January of 2022, accusing them of embezzling millions of dollars and then falsifying records to conceal the alleged theft. The federal charges they are now facing are repetitions of the allegations made by the community associations in their civil suit.

According to the community associations, APMS hijacked their Wells Fargo bank accounts and removed funds they required to pay for vendors, utilities, and emergency expenses. APMS has denied any wrongdoing. They said in court filings that its clients were aware of their actions and approved of the transfers. However, in November, a Collier County judge granted the plaintiffs a default judgment after APMS’s attorneys withdrew from the case and the company failed to secure new counsel.

The associations were able to recover around $1.3 million after winning the lawsuit, but they said that millions more are unaccounted for. Some of the associations were able to recover their funds from insurance policies. However, others lacked sufficient coverage and took losses.

Elements of a federal wire fraud prosecution 

Wire fraud is any type of fraud carried out by electronic means or using a “wire.” Prosecutors are required to prove specific elements are present in the crime to secure a conviction of wire fraud. Generally speaking, the prosecution must establish that there was a scheme to commit fraud, a specific intent to defraud and that the defendant used wire, radio, television, or the internet to commit the fraud.

One of the primary elements of a wire fraud conviction is intent. The prosecution must establish that you intentionally used some form of deception to carry out the fraud. You can never commit any form of fraud accidentally. In fact, no intent to defraud is a defense to wire fraud charges. Prosecutors, however, can establish that you were “recklessly indifferent” to a scheme and file wire fraud charges on that basis.

The aforementioned defendants are accused of stealing money from bank accounts and then filing false reports with the community associations to conceal the theft. The false reports will be used to establish that the defendants set out to deceive the community associations and perpetuate a fraud against them.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Federal Fraud Defense Attorney 

The Matassini Law Firm represents the interests of Tampa residents who are facing federal fraud charges. Call our Tampa criminal lawyers today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing your defense strategy right away.



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