• Lake County man alleges in suit that developer of luxury community is bullying homeowners

    By: Steve Barrett

    Updated:

    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A homeowner in a Lake County luxury community said he has been dealing with "terroristic" and "mafia-like" behavior from the developer.

    Don Juravin filed a lawsuit claiming that when he spoke up, he was retaliated against.

    Even though Bella Collina has been around more than 15 years, the massive Montverde-area development is still mostly a ghost town with very few residents.

    The latest suit is one of many lawsuits filed against current and past developers.

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    Juravin and his wife showed Channel 9's Steve Barrett wiring that he believes was cut outside their home as retaliation for complaints he made about the community.

    "For 16 years -- this place existed for 16 years, and only 5 or 6 percent is occupied with family," he said. "It tells you the situation."

    Juravin​​​​​​​ filed a lawsuit last week in Lake County alleging libel, business interference, invasion of privacy and breach of contract, among other things.

    He said Bella Collina retaliates against residents who complain about financial dealings or other aspects of life at the troubled development.

    "There is a club here," Juravin​​​​​​​ said. "But I'm not allowed and my family is not allowed to go to the club, because I placed a bad review on Google."

    Juravin's lawsuit also alleges that Richard Arrighi, a disbarred attorney, runs the community and clubhouse.

    Arrighi was convicted of funneling almost $10 million out of the state of Massachusetts' unclaimed checks fund. 

    "What we've seen with Bella Collina is that if someone gets in their way, anyone who's connected to them is fair game," said Andrew Hill, Juravin's attorney.

    Juravin's suit makes a long list of claims, including illegal control of the property owners association, bullying homeowners and intimidation.

    "I saw so much going on I said, 'Somebody needs to stand up to them,'" Juravin​​​​​​​ said. "They're taking people's money."

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    Channel 9 reached out to the development several times Thursday, but a spokesman said he was unwilling to comment on the record.

    Before Barrett reached out to the development, he was mailed court documents that were enclosed in Bella Collina envelopes.

    The documents included sticky notes suggesting that Barrett take a look at them, but the documents were not signed.

    The documents are injunctions against two people, including Juravin​​​​​​​, preventing them from saying certain things online about Bella Collina.

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