SOUTH CAROLINA – Property Manager Admits to Defrauding Charleston Communities of $700K
The Post and Courier: Property Manager Admits to Defrauding Charleston Communities of $700K
A Charleston-area property manager accused by dozens of homeowner associations of pocketing more than $700,000 of their money now faces prison time on a federal criminal charge.
Karen Colie, who owned Marshland Communities on Johns Island, was charged Wednesday with wire fraud. She promptly pleaded guilty to the felony that carries up to 20 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine. She was not immediately sentenced.
Filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston, Colie’s plea agreement called for her to pay back every “identifiable victim” that fell under her scheme.
Colie had already been the target of a lawsuit in which 47 homeowner groups accused her of overbilling or charging for services that her company never performed. All told, she had boasted being hired by nearly 60 neighborhoods, including Shadowmoss Plantation in West Ashley and Liberty Hall Plantation in Goose Creek.
The criminal charge came through an “information,” which in federal court allows for a quick guilty plea without a grand jury indictment.
Her attorney, Cameron Blazer of Mount Pleasant, said the housing crisis that contributed to the recession a decade ago had created many difficult years for property managers. Read more: