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Lantana couple and former HOA leaders sentenced in fraud scheme

Lantana couple and former HOA leaders sentenced in fraud scheme (WPEC)

A couple accused of running a local homeowners association fraud scheme have now been sentenced.

A judge found the former president and treasurer of Lantana Homes HOA, William and Darlene Cox, guilty of organized scheme to defraud ($50,000 or more).

William Cox was sentenced to three years in state prison, while Darlene Cox was placed on probation for a period of five years, with the first year of probation to be served with a house monitor.

A judge also ordered them to pay a combined restitution of more than $360,000 to the city’s HOA.

The current leaders of the HOA are frustrated Darlene Cox is still living near the very people she is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from.

CBS12 News visited the home, but she did not answer the door.

“Numbers don’t lie. That’s one thing I found,” said Ema Jones, the current Lantana Homes HOA President.

They were arrested back in November 2016, when the current board discovered financial errors in the accounts during the transition of power.

“When we took over, we had 389 people placed on payment plans because that many people owed over $3,000 dollars in dues,” Jones said.

According to the arrest report, the two are accused of taking the HOA funds for their personal saving accounts and checking accounts, business accounts and to pay personal car insurance and their homeowners and life insurance policies.

“I am very thankful. I’m sure other members of the board are very happy to see that justice has been served,” said Michael Alexander, Lantana Homes HOA Vice-President.

The current HOA board is looking forward to building a stronger bond and trust with the people in the community.

“We look forward to the future of this community," Jones said. "We look forward to the value of our homes coming up. Law enforcement is absolutely on target with us. We’re all running in the same direction."

The board said there is a new person in charge of books, so this doesn’t happen again.

CBS12 News reached out to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to find out if Darlene Cox is still a civilian employee there.

At last check, she was on administrative leave.

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