THERE MAY BE LOTS OF NEW SHERIFFS IN TOWN IF THIS BILL PASSES

Senator Anna Maria Rodriguez filed our mandatory condo education bill in Florida’s Senate. But if you think she’s done trying to change additional condominium laws, you would be very wrong. She also filed Senate Bill 274 which creates the Condominium Fraud Investigation Pilot Program.

According to the bill itself, the purpose of the program is to investigate condominium-related fraud and corruption in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. The DBPR may contract with a private entity that employs retired law enforcement officers who have subject matter expertise in financial fraud to achieve the purpose of the program. The DBPR shall hire five law enforcement officers to carry out the purpose of the program. If the DBPR does not contract with a private entity, the DBPR must hire three financial investigators, five investigators with previous law enforcement experience, and three clerical employees to staff the program.

A person may submit a complaint to the Office of the Condominium Ombudsman. The ombudsman shall review all complaints submitted to the office and determine which complaints to forward to the DBPR for additional analysis and investigation under the program. If a complaint submitted to the office does not contain allegations of fraud or corruption, the ombudsman must forward the complaint to the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes.

The DBPR has the power to subpoena, audit, and investigate for the purposes of the program. The DBPR may administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, and compel the production of books, papers, or other records relevant to investigations it conducts. If, after reviewing a complaint under the program, the DBPR finds sufficient evidence for criminal prosecution, it must refer the case to the appropriate state attorney for prosecution.

The program must be funded annually from the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes Trust Fund with funds specifically appropriated in the General Appropriations Act.

This section is repealed October 2, 2027, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.

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