A Boynton Beach man has been arrested on grand theft charges, Broward criminal lawyer William Moore has learned. Mark R. Hilton III, who is 47 years of age, was charged with stealing in excess of $166,000 from the Casablanca Isles Condominium Association. Hilton was the former president and bookkeeper of the association.
Hilton was previously arrested and convicted for grand theft, Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer Moore has determined. In 2006, he was arrested for embezzling $13,252 from an air conditioning business. He worked for the company as an account manager during the period during which he stole funds. Hilton was convicted and served time in jail as a result of that offense.
In 2007, Hilton served on the board of the condominium association and apparently managed the association’s funds with little oversight. He took out unauthorized credit cards, then billed the homeowners association to cover his expenditures. The problem? His purchases were personal and were never authorized by the HOA, Broward criminal attorney Moore has learned.
Law enforcement officials believe Hilton used the credit cards to cover all manner of personal costs. These charges included the mundane, like car insurance, to the extravagant, like trips to Disney World. Hilton is also accused of using association funds to cover the costs of his five dogs’ veterinary care, airfare, car rentals, jewelry, art, and even cash advances paid directly to him. Hilton’s arrest is the product of a police investigation that took approximately one year.
Homeowners associations and condominium associations often screen applicants who may want to buy or rent units prior to their purchase or move-in date. For approval, some associations require that applicants attain a certain credit score or have no serious criminal record. Of course, once the applicants are approved and become members of the community, the association likely does not continue to monitor the creditworthiness and criminal histories of its residents. In this case, it is unclear whether Hilton was ever screened for entry into the association or for his particular position.
Now, he is being held at the Broward County Jail. His bond for the charges, grand theft and conducting a scheme to defraud, is currently set at $100,000.
Broward criminal lawyer William Moore has years of experience in criminal defense, including sex crimes and DUI. A felony or misdemeanor conviction of any type can have far-reaching consequences on your freedom, your employment, and your personal life. If you have been arrested in south Florida, contact William Moore, P.A., with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.
Article contributed by Mallory Shipman, Esq.