Lake County

Woman admits to spending thousands of HOA funds to pay her own bills, police say

GROVELAND, Fla. — A woman in Orange County is charged with grand theft after police said she took money from a Lake County homeowners' association to pay her own bills.

Police said Joan-Marie Baskett was elected secretary of the Ranch Club Homeowner’s Association, which is based at Eagle Run in Groveland.

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The HOA president reported a large sum of money was missing from the HOA’s bank account on May 20, according to a police report.

Police said three bank accounts with variations of Joan Baskett’s name were used to withdraw $121,390 from the HOA’s account.

Officers said some of the bank accounts had written checks to Baskett and her husband for $97,045.

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Police said the HOA reported $365,754.80 of expenses unrelated to normal business had been taken from the accounts.

The Ranch Club HOA members are not paid positions and Baskett did not have permission to use HOA funds for person use, officers said.

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According to an arrest report, she told police she used the money to pay her mortgage and other bills and that the situation had “snowballed.”

Baskett was arrested and charged with grand theft.

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