Investigators say condo association treasurer stole $47,000

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Residents at a condo complex said they can't make much-needed repairs because the association's treasurer was helping himself to tens of thousands of dollars.

The Semoran Club Condos are right off Semoran Boulevard, near Lake Baldwin. Residents pay $225 a month in condo fees.

One person we spoke with said the community would like to repave the asphalt, but right now the money isn't there.

Another resident said that even if they didn't need to make improvements, perhaps they could have been paying lower association dues.

Inside the Semoran Club community there are signs that not everything is perfect; the play area needs work and tennis courts and fences are in disrepair.

"In places like this it's a continuing maintenance situation," said resident Frank Wargo.

Residents said it doesn't help that more than $47,000 in condo association money is missing.

Orange County Sheriff's detectives said Michael Brown, 62, took the money.

Brown, the community treasurer, had lived in the condo complex for more than 25 years. He's now facing grand theft charges.

"Everybody trusted him. No one ever thought anything like this could possibly happen," said Wargo.

Investigators said Brown took the money over a four-year period.

One board member told WFTV's Jeff Deal that Brown was always heading to the Fairwinds Credit Union to get money.

When a new director with an accounting background took over he noticed problems with the condo's account.

When Deal went to Brown's new home, the woman who answered the door told him Brown was home but that he wouldn't come to the door.

"Could the place be turned into the Taj Mahal with what he stole? Probably not, but he stole. He was a thief and he was our neighbor," said Wargo.
   
Deal was told there are about 50 condominium units in the complex and that the loss of $47,000 was a big hit for the community

And residents said Brown sent an email to the association admitting he took the money, and apologizing.