Monday, November 11, 2019

Bridgewater Goes for Freeze, Bridgewater at Old Agency says Lanes Embezzled Over $340,000

The Ridgway Lane scandal continues to mushroom as more homeowners associations accused the company of embezzling nearly a million dollars from local homeowner's associations it managed. Bridgewater asked a Madison Circuit Judge to freeze all of the assets of the company, David W. Lane, and David L. Lane.  The Bridgewater at Old Agency homeowner's association jumped into the fray today, charging Ridgeway Lane embezzled 343,938 from the  in its own lawsuit filed in Rankin County Circuit Court today. 

The Dinsmor and Palisades homeowners associations stated in notices sent to members that they discovered large sums of money missing from Ridgway Lane-managed accounts as well.


Bridgewater

Bridgewater filed a petition for a temporary restraining order  today in Rankin County Circuit Court.  Bridgewater sued the company as well as the Lanes last week .  The HOA alleges Ridgway Lane took more than half a million dollars from Bridgewater accounts.

The petition asks the Court to freeze all assets and accounts of Ridgway Lane and any of its owners or employees.  The HOA also asked the court to order the defendants to preserve all records. The petition is posted below.

Ridgway Lane managed Bridgewater's affairs since 2014. Suspicions about the handling of Bridgewater funds arose in September when the company provided the audited financial statements to the Board just before its regular meeting began on September 16.   Bridgewater's treasurer, Cindy Dunbar, questioned several items in the financial statements several days later.  She emailed more questions about "material discrepancies" between the Ridgway-created financial reports and the actual bank statements.

One such discrepancy is an alleged $94,928 difference between the bank statement and Ridgway Lane report for the operating account.  She asked for him to respond within 48 hours.  He replied, "I can't possibly meet your deadline."  The lawsuit charges he tried to delay providing more information to Bridgewater to prevent the homeowner's association from discovering the degree of misrepresentation.

The Lanes were the only signatories on the Bridgewater accounts at Community Bank.  Bridgewater attempted to add two more members as signatories but ran into a problem - the Lanes allegedly would not give them access to their own accounts.   Ms. Dunbar's October 29 letter to David L. Lane (posted below) states:


On or about October 18, 2019, Community Bank provided David Lane/Ridgeway Lane with information needed to add signatories to the BOA's accounts with Community Bank.
  On October 21, 2019, the BOA met and authorized Ms. Dunbar, BOA Treasurer, and Erik Hearon, Board President, to become signatories on the BOA accounts at Community Bank.  At this meeting, David Lane/Ridgway Lane communicated his and Ridgway Lane's resignation as BOA's property manager effective January 1, 2010.
Since the October 21, 2019 Board meeting, David Lane/Ridgeway Lane have:

* Failed or refused to cooperate and follow BOA's instructions regarding addition of certain Board members to the BOA's accounts as signatories.

* Failed or refused to provide account balance information.

* Failed or refused to provide access to the Community Bank accounts (according to Community Bank, Ridgway Lane is the "customer" on the account and holds it in trust for BOA and will not grant access to BOA representatives).

* Failed or refused to provide access to BOA records held and maintained by Ridgway Lane.
Baby Lane allegedly wrote Bridgwater checks payable to Ridgway Lane accounts without Bridgewater's approval.

Bridgewater accused Lane and Ridgway Lane of looting more than $100,000 in 2019 from Bridgewater accounts.  A CD for $117,000 allegedly disappeared as well.  Bridgewater claims the total losses are more than $500,000.

The lawsuit seeks damages for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, fraud, unjust enrichment, and negligence. Attorney Roy Lidell of Wells Marble & Hurst represents Bridgewater.  The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Dewey Arthur.  Bridgwater paid Ridgway Lane $1,750 per month to manage the association.


Bridgewater at Old Agency

Bridgewater  at Old Agency sued Ridgway Lane, David L. Lane, and various John Does today in Rankin County Circuit Court.  As with other homeowner's associations, Ridgway Lane managed the Bridgewater at Old Agency HOA for the members.

The complaint accuses Ridgway Lane of reporting on October 15, 2019 that the operating account had $259,150 and the reserve account held $111,221. The aggregate balance was $370,371.  Unfortunately for the HOA of BOA, the actual balances were $635 and $25,753.  BOA said Ridgway Lane didn't maintain its accounts but instead defrauded the homeowner's association.   The difference between the actual and reported balances is $343,983.

Bridgewater at Old Agency apparently had no clue about any of these shenanigans until Bridgewater sues Ridgway Lane and the other defendants.    

 BOA sued for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, fraud, fraud in the inducement, negligence, and unjust enrichment.  BOA also asked for an accounting of all funds and transactions.   The complaint asked for $343,000 in damages and at least the same amount in punitive damages.

Bridgwater at Old Agency asked the court to freeze all assets of the defendants in a motion for TRO today as well.

Attorneys Maison Heidelberg and Chad Welch represent the petitioners. 

Kingfish note: District Attorney nor police can investigate or do anything until a complaint is filed.  The question is whether any of the alleged victims have pressed charges and if not, why not.

Earlier Posts
Palisades Plundered 
Dinsmor HOA discovers "irregularities."  
Bridgewater accuses HOA Operator of Embezzlement.  














60 comments:

Anonymous said...

I still don't get why an HOA would have six or seven figures in the bank that could go un-noticed. Cut the grass at the entrance and blow the clippings. The rest is just vanity.

Yeah, I know it's Madison. Call me poor for asking.

Anonymous said...

Maintain the fancy gate and landscaping, power for gates, landscape lighting and streetlights (possibly), street signs, maintenance of clubhouse and pool, insurance, possibly maintenance of streets, security patrol. It adds up quickly.

Anonymous said...

It's probably a lot like the eastover foundation in northeast Jackson... Certain families give over 25 and 50k each year. I gave 5k this year and I'm considered white trash by the neighborhood on twin lake circle in eastover.

Anonymous said...

I love seeing rich people getting screwed over for a change. It's very satisfying. It would be interesting if the Lane's have the money in accounts inaccessible to the courts and that they are already in a country without extradition to the USA.

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
Mark 10:25

Anonymous said...

@7:24 PM - Prudent HOA communities have reserve accounts for the renovation of their clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, etc. They also must have reserves for resurfacing streets.

All of these items are expensive, hence the large accounts.


Anonymous said...

In a lot of cases, and depending on the community's amenities, the HOA is responsible for drainage, road maintenance, street lights, and clubhouse and pool maintenance. Figure an average of $200 per household and the dues really add up and can be a temptation for a not-so-honest manager. I don't live in an HOA community, but if I did, I'd demand transparency on how the money was being spent/invested.

Anonymous said...

@7:41 PM - It must be sad to live in a 2BR 1BA rental home in W. Jackson. Bless your heart.

Anonymous said...

Calls to the District Attorney’s office today went unanswered due to holiday. There was no voicemail. Rest assured that a complaint will be filed by this Palisades homeowner as soon as the office opens tomorrow to investigate all involved parties.

Anonymous said...

I'm not 100% positive, but is it not true that if you truly gate the neighborhood and restrict access, then you have to take responsibility for roads? Which is why many neighborhoods have "open gates"? If so, you would certainly need to build reserves.

Anonymous said...

Anybody seen Ridgway?

Anonymous said...

Hell... 200 dollars a household? That's nothing. In NE Jackson we pay at least 1k plus certain families pay over 50k annually.

Anonymous said...

I live in a HOA neighborhood that manages all its own accounts we have a board and all decisions regarding money must be approved by a majority board vote. Which btw is term limited to 2 years must sit off board for a year before being appointed back on board. Our treasures is an accountant that lives in neighborhood. And everyone in board has access to the bank statements and financials. No need for a management company to manage HOA if your board is to lazy to keep up with it and practice due dillagance would not be in their mess.

Anonymous said...

Love a commenter that "loves seeing rich people screwed over" then drops a Bible verse. Strong.

Anonymous said...

Fully gated communities are responsible for their streets. I’m sure the reserve account had money in it for street repaving and repairs.

Anonymous said...

The guy at Broadmoor got away with $300k over three or four years. The lack of accountability at some nonprofit organizations (Churches/HOAs) is ridiculous. The bigger the organization, it seems the less the accountability.

Anonymous said...

@8:36PM
You forgot the part ...for a change because rich people screw people all the time. They just tell themselves they are smarter at business while making money off of those with the least. From overpriced rents to payday lending.

The bible verse let's you know God's sentiments about the rich.

Anonymous said...

8:08pm is correct. Our gated neighborhood has been setting aside money for repaving our streets - it will cost anywhere from $200,000-300,000 depending on oil prices when we have to repave. It is a far smaller neighborhood than Bridgewater so they would have to keep a lot of cash in reserve for their street maintenance.

Anonymous said...

More HOAs are coming. This thing is going to be the next episode of American Greed.

Anonymous said...

Bridgewater - Steed Road location - dues are a little over a thousand - twice a year! Guard duties at our guard house gate entrance were terminated to save money. Now we know why there’s no money. The crooks took it all. I agree with a comment in this thread that says an HOA officer should serve no more than two consecutive years, take a year off, and then be forced to run for election again if they want their old job back. Make them earn their title. Prove it that you are competent. Are the board members and property managers trying to pull an ultimate con job in Bridgewater? Dig deep into the finances and services provided. Lots more to discover no doubt. Board members at the HOAs mostly serve their own interests. They run these places with an iron fist to look out for their friends and families. How could a sitting board president never have thought to look into actual bank statements for years until just a few weeks ago? Idiots!

Anonymous said...

@7:41 Judging someone by where the live only shows your stupidity. Unless you have financial statements from each person to back up your ignorant post, you have no clue if they’re “rich” or not. Maybe they work hard to pay their mortgage to provide the family a nice home and maybe you play on the computer and spend your money on cigs, tattoos & booze. Hate to tell you, but it’s not as simple to say someone is rich or poor according to where they live. The priorities and choices of one person might not be the same as another. You’d rather have a chip on your shoulder about what others have and quote scripture than to realize you’re being a hypocrite. I know people in NEJ and these neighborhoods who are so far in debit and can’t pay their bills. I also know people who juggle several jobs and work hard for what they have. Clean out your ears before you go to church next time because you including a scripture after your comment tells me you’re only hearing what you want to hear.

Justice for Ridgeway Lane said...

I ser where WLBT is finally reporting in this. Better late than never I guess.

Anonymous said...

My folks live in Bridgewater. Their HOA dues are $2400 a year. Considering the number of folks there, that's a lot of money, annually. I have talked to them about this issue.

Anonymous said...

Board members don't get paid, I know this. But I bet that Ridgeway/Lane Christmas list is pretty extensive . . .

Gomer's Welding Torch said...

If you give a pig a key to the corn-crib....guess what? Everybody with access to these cookie jars has either pilfered from them or has considered it.

Now we'll hear from the righteous in 3..2..1

Anonymous said...

HOA's generally don't pay for street lights or road paving, but I suppose they can elect to pave the roads. Swimming pools and club houses are very expensive to maintain.

I think the question is not why an HOA might have a half million or a million in the bank, but how can they have so much in the bank that a half million goes unnoticed for any period of time?

Anonymous said...

8:12 TRUTH

Anonymous said...

If people in these neighborhoods had to earn the money they have, they might pay more attention to such details. So much inherited wealth in this area.

Anonymous said...

If the financial statements presented at board meetings were "audited", who were the CPA's who audited them. Ridgway Lane cannot audit the statements.

Anonymous said...

5:56 Usually, if the community is gated, the streets are turned over to the HOA and it is their responsibility to maintain them.

Anonymous said...

@6:15
No they really worked hard for it! Seriously!

Anonymous said...

6:15 am

I agree

We should tax estates at 90% over 1 million and stop treating corporations as people.

That way no inherited wealth at all

Who knew Bernie hung out here?

Anonymous said...

@6:15 What a ridiculous statement to make! Be assured that “these people that live in these neighborhoods” work hard and do actually earn their living ! What a snob you are!

Anonymous said...

I've got news for some of y'all. If you have to go to work, you're not rich. There are very, very few families in Mississippi that are actually wealthy. Sure, there are some families bringing in $500K a year, but it's because they have an earner (or two) at the top of their game who has finally made it to a senior level at work. How long does that last before someone gets ill or gets downsized or the business dries up? Put a couple kids through private school, save enough for them to go to a good college/grad school, and save enough to cover anticipated health care/retirement, and there ain't going to be anybody living off an inheritance. Places like Bridgewater appear a monolithic representation of "the rich" in the mind of some, but what they don't realize is the massive turnover within the neighborhood (go take a look at all the "for sale" signs sometime). Mississippi's got some folks that might string together 5 good years in a row but, if you're really and truly rich, you GTFO of Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

Just for clarification, are their multiple Bridgewater's? The piece makes it sound like there is Bridgewater Proper and Bridgewater @ Old Agency.

Ridgeway Lane managed multiple Primos Developments for those asking what other Rankin County HOA's may come forth.

Pappy Odaniel said...

@4:41 (and others) ... this is fraud, RL produced fraudulent docs which made everything seem hunky dory. I doubt the HOAs ever gave RL any authority to do most of the things they were doing.

Anonymous said...

Give me the names of gated communities where the municipality has advised they will maintain the streets. If this were the case, how come the Board of Supervisors recently paid to repave the roads in Madison's Northbay where a county supervisor, the mayor's attorney and the new chancellor of Ole Miss live?

And most of these prissy neighborhoods are NOT 'fully gated' and the 'guard shack' is a cosmetic out-house, at best.

Anonymous said...

The good news for Bridgewater homeowners is bad news for the socialist haters:

A half a million $$$’s divided by the number of lots won't be much of a hit at all to the vast, vast majority of Bridgewater owners.


7:08AM, your comment "We should tax estates at 90% over 1 million and stop treating corporations as people. That way no inherited wealth at all" is idiotic.

Now, if you ever decide to get serious and want to bust up those fake foundations run by trust fund kids like the Kennedy's, Rockefeller's, etc., sign me up.

Pop quiz: Who thinks Leftist Anderson Cooper's Vanderbilt wealth had nothing to do with his landing that CNN gig? Can you say “Leftist White Privilege?”

Anonymous said...

In case you ever wondered, if a gated community is truly gated and the public does not have access, then the HOA takes over responsibility for the roads. But 3/4's of gated communities have a gate that you pull up to and while you wait for it to open, a camera gets a shot of your tag. Its a great deterrent to crime, but the city or county still maintains the road.

Anonymous said...

I live in a smal development with an HOA. Our fees are reasonable and are used to maintain the common areas. We don’t use a management company. I’m not really a big HOA fan but it does help keep property values up by requiring homeowners to maintain their property. If you want to put your “junker” on blocks and use your yard to grow hay get 5 acres on route 4, no problem.

Bridgewater Blue Blood said...

@6:15 - what a misinformed statement. I work hard for my money. I have to fly all the way to the Cayman Islands to consult with my wealth manager, and my private Gulfstream 550 jet consumes a lot of fuel.

So lighten up, Francis.

PS - are you our pool boy?

PPS - It sure is nice here in the Caymans right now. You won't see a "30A" sticker on our AMGs.

Anonymous said...

I live in a neighborhood in Rankin County that uses Ridgway Lane, but it's a much smaller neighborhood with a much smaller bank account balance. But, I hope our board is has been looking at things and is on top of this. I've said for a long time that I've lived in my last neighborhood, and now that this fiasco is unfolding, I feel more strongly about that. When I decide to sell my house (if I can sell it), I will NOT move into another neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I live out in the county, so I only get screwed by the Board of Supervisors... LOL —welcome back Karl and Rudy... tee hee

Anonymous said...

How did turn into a hate fest against those living in gated communities? BTW, I don't live in a gated community or feel any animosity towards those who do.

Pappy Odaniel said...

@9:05...good effort, too bad all of your concept of wealth is based on the Pelican Brief...Cayman Islands? This isn’t 1987.

Anonymous said...

Were the Lanes investing in Madison Timber or what?????

Macy Hanson said...

My suspicion is that false account statements are how this fraud, if true, went undetected by the various HOA Boards for as long as the embezzlement has allegedly been going on. Bernie Madoff/Enron/Lamar Adams style. This is some old school fraud. Ok, Boomer. I also cannot wait for the American Greed episode on this. CNBC could get a two-for-one with Lamar Adams timber Ponzi.

Anonymous said...

Our relatives live in Bridgewater. They told us last night the embezzlement situation is not Bridgewater's only money woe. There was some kind of issue with non HOA lake repairs costing the HOA just about as much as the embezzlement amount in question. Do like a lot of us -move out to the country.

Anonymous said...

How do these people think that this will not catch up with them one day. Money can can be taken like this for a while but not forever. If the system work as it should one year is about as long as this should happen. I wonder where the bonding company is.

Anonymous said...

Quoting Bible verses selectively out of context is just bad form, especially if you're not even religious. This one is high on the list of those used in this manner.

23And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? 27And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

So, it is possible, it says it right there (if you're a Bible believer). Might want to back up and punt here.


Anonymous said...

David Lane and Ridgway Lane used to manage the Reserve HOA as well, but thankfully the relationship ended several years ago. What people are saying about him and his persona is what many of us saw many years ago when he appeared at the annual HOA meetings.

Anonymous said...

Ok, Boomer.

Ok, Loser.

Bridgewater Blue Blood in Barbados said...

@10:09 AM - I didn't want to give up a well kept secret. But, as we are just friends speaking confidentially off the record, it's Barbados, not the Caymans. You are correct, the Caymans are so 1980s.

Anyway, keep this to yourself.

Sunken Asphalt said...

In an earlier post I asked that someone provide a list (or even the name of one) of the HOAs who have been advised by the municipality that it will NOT maintain sewers and streets in the community. The County recently paid to re-do the streets in Madison Northbay, where golf carts are allowed even though there is no golf course.

I believe I've read that municipalities in the metro all have ordinances that prohibit 'full gating'. If an area is fully gated and the municipality has no responsibility for road maintenance or repair, one might assume the police don't even have the authority to enter. But, I guess those who live in the silk-stocking areas would know more about that than I.

Cynical Sam said...

This is my favorite verse:

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

Anonymous said...

2:35,In fully gated subdivisions, Police and Fire must be allowed to enter as needed.

Anonymous said...

Originial 3:33... You gonna pull the trigger too... Jules said it better...

Anonymous said...

3:40 is correct. If you listen to the police radio long enough you will occasionally hear PD, FD, or EMS ask dispatch for the entrance code to a gated subdivision or apartment complex.

The dispatcher will read the gate access code back over the radio to the officer. Basically renders a gated community nearly pointless.

Anonymous said...

Yep. I listen to the police scanner and write down each code. Then, I go to the gate and see if it works. If it does, I ride through and look down the driveways or drop someone off to look in unlocked cars. When I returned, the gate had shut and I had to stop and wait on the gate to open. I panicked, so I went out of the gate and came back in. Then, we returned the items we borrowed. I learned that if I have to stop twice, I’m not going back. Just too easy for someone to see me. I’m a police officer and I sell gate codes. All the break-ins that are reported from gated neighborhoods are probably because of me.

Gates are really not pointless. They deter lots of crime because of time and it’s essence.

Anonymous said...

Are there two neighborhoods? Heck yea - Bridgewater Proper and Bridgewater @ Old Agency. Friends who live in the new part told me the older area closed access to their part of Bridgewater to the newer area so they have to drive around the long way. This is a mess, but the fact that Bridgewater has clear tiers of top and bottom in their new rich neighborhoods is a little funny. Don't know anyone who grew up here that lives there or wants to live there. It's a haven for small town people or out of staters who have been successful and come to the city. People who have the blessing of being comfortable in their own skin/environment have no interest in living in there - even though they can certainly afford it. Pretty obvious with the dropping price point and stagnant sales. I do NOT dislike the neighborhood, just the sad class system where people who do well desperately want to prove it and establish "elite" neighborhoods full of every day people. Nothing wrong with that, but the own internal class structure war in BW does make me snicker a bit.

Anonymous said...

@8:50 obviously cannot afford a house in either section of Bridgewater. V

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