Article Courtesy of The Miami Herald
By Brenda Medina
Published August 26, 2017
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The administrator of an Aventura condominium has been
arrested on charges of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes and stealing
cash from the building's laundry machines.
Donovan Staley, 33,
administrator of the Admirals Port condo, was charged with
organized fraud, grand theft and the use of a phone to plan
a crime. He could face up to five years in prison.
Staley's arrest Tuesday was the first under new condo laws
approved by the Florida Legislature in May. The charges were
filed by the Miami-Dade state attorney's office, which had
collaborated with legislators to tighten the condo laws.
“Donovan Staley abused the trust of the condo directors and
owners to line his own pockets,” State Attorney Katherine
Fernandez Rundle told a news conference Wednesday. “We want
the community to know that the new law is going to make a
Staley, who was freed after posting a $20,000 bond, did not
respond to telephone calls by El Nuevo Herald. His
employers, the Castle Management Group in Plantation,
also did not respond.
Authorities said Staley asked an electrical firm working
in the building to add $6,000 to the invoice, and later pass
him the money in exchange for a promise of future work.
The company owner, Alexander Lopez, submitted an invoice for
$18,800 instead of his real $12,800 bill. But Lopez was
cooperating with the condo's board of directors and they
reported the bribe demand to Aventura police.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle
and Aventura Police Chief Bryan Pegues held a joint press conference
to announce the charging of a condominium manager in a kickback
scheme which stole funds intended for condominium repair work.
Staley met with Lopez Tuesday to receive the $6,000. He was arrested shortly
afterward, with the cash in his pocket, police said. The new laws added
criminal sanctions for condo directors or employees who accept bribes.
Police had already been looking into Staley's work. Director Jaye Chipy used
a cellphone camera to record Staley allegedly taking money out of the
condo's laundry machines. Authorities said he stole at least $3,000 from the
machines and tried to bribe another employee to keep him from reporting the
“This is unacceptable for our community,” said Aventura police chief Bryan
An investigation titled “Condo Nightmares” by El Nuevo Herald and Univision
23 documented how hundreds of condo owners had filed complaints about abuses
year after year that were never investigated properly. To report condo
fraud, call 305-471-TIPS.