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Part I: New Roofs for Two Directors/Officers
(This just might blow the roof off this place; pun intended.)
It’s interesting that both Jeff and Harvey (the HOA president and vice-president respectively) got new roofs apparently for free by bringing court actions against their respective property insurance carriers, through the roofing company that solicited their business, three years after Hurricane Irma, the weather event claimed as the cause of purported damages.
Harvey got close to $58,628 in settlement money payable to Massey Construction Group, Inc. plus another $11,000 for their lawyers’ fees for bringing the case on his behalf, and they used the same roofing company to file their court claims: Massey Construction Group, Inc. (erroneously spelled “Masey” in Jeff’s court case).
I’m not at all suggesting anything was done improperly, but a review of those court filings and other similar court filings with the same roofing company does raise some serious questions in my mind. Let me tell you why and then I will tell you about the specifics of Jeff’s and Harvey’s roof claims.
It is because a resident reported that that roofing company’s representative was seen soliciting business on HOA property with roof photographs and that representative purportedly told that resident that he just came from Jeff’s house and that Jeff (the HOA president) was getting a new roof and said, “you can get a new roof, too” according to that resident.
That resident reported that the roofing representative showed him the roof photos he had with him and allegedly said that he would use those photos for that residents’ roof as well. That resident reported that he was so disgusted that he told the roofing representative to get the heck out of here.
Yes, it’s hearsay for all you naysayers. But with that information, we started to research, and the existence of so many court cases with this roofing company raised a red flag.
I counted 105 court cases with Massey Construction in Palm Beach County alone, and that only includes cases formally filed. It includes the one misspelled “Masey” when the court clerk entered it incorrectly onto the docket (Jeff’s case); there are likely many others that were settled prior to filing any court case, which is typical, and this roofer also operates elsewhere in the state.
If these were damage claims from purported roof damage from Hurricane Irma which occurred on September 10, 2017, there was in fact no sustained hurricane in this area; per the National Weather Service’s Official Report, here is how it impacted Palm Beach County specifically:
“Palm Beach County: Sustained winds peaked in the 55-65 mph range over southern coastal areas and most of central Palm Beach County. Stronger sustained winds - in the 65-70 mph range - were observed along the immediate coastline north of West Palm Beach to Jupiter. Wind gusts reached Category 1 strength (80-90 mph) county-wide.”
In fact, Jeff’s alleged damages were “reportedly sustained as a result of Hurricane Irma’s winds and rains on or about September 10, 2017 (the “Loss”)” [Answer to Request for Admissions on file in his court case]. The official court Complaint filed on his behalf says his home “sustained direct physical damages as a result of Hurricane Irma.”
The Assignment of Benefits (Jeff to the roofer to go after Jeff’s property insurance company) was not executed until September 6, 2020, three years later. That made the roofer the plaintiff in the action against Jeff’s insurance carrier. (The documents are attached to the Complaint as Exhibits).
But at paragraph 9 of the Complaint, it says: “Shortly after the hurricane described in paragraph 8, Insured contracted with Plaintiff to provide necessary roofing and construction services at the Insured Property.”
That doesn’t jive with the attached exhibits to the Complaint which show the contract is also dated September 6, 2020, which is three years later, and the estimate is then dated September 8, 2020, and shows a “Replacement Cost Value” and “Net Claim” of “$76,919.77.” So it was not “shortly after the hurricane,” but rather three years later.
Harvey’s court Complaint against his insurance carrier, also through an Assignment of Benefits to Massey Construction, at paragraph 10 therein states: “On or about September 10, 2017, while the Policy was in full force and effect, a covered loss occurred to The Property resulting from Hurricane Irma causing sudden and accidental damage to The Property (the “Loss”).”
His Assignment of Benefits to Massey is dated September 8, 2020, which is two days after Jeff’s. The lawyer for Massey for Harvey’s claim was the same lawyer for a number of Massey court Complaints on behalf of homeowners.
That lawyer later withdrew from representing Massey in a number of cases including Harvey’s. His motion to withdraw in Harvey’s court case states that an “adversarial relationship” exists between his firm and Massey Construction. That’s very interesting. What, perhaps, did he learn that caused this sudden “adversarial relationship” that he described?
The contract with Harvey shows a “Replacement Cost Value” and “Net Claim” in the amount of “$78,097.66,” so his litigation settled for slightly less, but the claim amounts are eerily similar to Jeff’s and actually almost identical. Both Jeff and Harvey signed identical Assignment of Benefit forms presented to them from Massey Construction (which are attached as Exhibit A to each of their respective Complaints).
Both Harvey’s and Jeff’s “Contractor Representative” for Massey was the same guy, whose name is handwritten on both agreements and appears to be “Jose Lajara.”
What are the odds of two homes having a difference in claim amounts of only $1,177.89, which is a difference of only 1 ½ %, three years later, with two days between the two contracts with the same roofer and same roofer representative? And one of these homeowners is this HOA’s president and the other is its vice-president.
Did either Jeff or Harvey contact their insurance carriers after the weather event in 2017 to make a claim then? It doesn’t appear so, because these documents don’t come into existence until suddenly three years later, and I didn’t see any reference to any earlier claim by either of them.
Many people and roofers believed that the statute of limitations was three years; these two claims were made four days (Jeff) and two days (Harvey) before the expiration of the believed statute of limitations (September 6, 2020 and September 8, 2020 respectively).
Some Florida lawyers through their legal blogs that I reviewed, as well as the statutes involved, suggest that it is actually five years in certain circumstances; the issue is a tad complex and implicates several Florida statutes not germane to this discussion (Florida Statutes 627.70132 and 95.11 for those of you who are curious).
Further, did anyone notice any tarps on either Jeff’s or Harvey’s roofs to prevent water or wind damage for the three intervening years? There’s been plenty of rain in that three-year period.
Jeff’s roof was replaced just this year and Harvey’s was last year, which was 5 and 4 years after that weather event. That would be a lot of water damage without protection, and these were complete roof replacements, not just partial replacements.
Keep in mind that many insurance companies settle claims not because the claims are necessarily valid or provable, but because settling them is cheaper than taking them to trial, considering legal fees and costs. They do so also to minimize their potential losses at trial because every litigator knows that going to trial is a crapshoot.
I noted a lot of different homeowners’ insurance companies in these cases being sued by the homeowners through Massey Construction, and they just don’t have the resources to fight every single one of these claims.
Separately, the October 3, 2022 Palm Beach Post just came out with a front page article as to one of the reasons your property insurance premiums are going way up (because of roofing scams).
So for all of you honest folks out there who have paid or will be paying $40,000 and up for a new roof, and your insurance premiums are also increasing if you can even find decent insurance, you are subsidizing the alleged scammers referenced in the newspaper article.
And most people who get new roofs will see their insurance premiums get a discount while the rest of you are seeing increases to your premiums.
Again, I’m specifically not equating that article with the new roofs Harvey and Jeff got. I’m just reporting the facts, and the court cases are public record accessible to anyone.
Separately and unrelated but as an interesting point, under Florida Statute 817.234 which is entitled “False and fraudulent insurance claims,” under subsection 11, if a person commits such a crime, and the value of the property involved in a violation of this section is between $20,000 and $100,000, it is a second degree felony. The penalty is a fine up to $10,000 and imprisonment up to 15 years.
As another unrelated but interesting observation, Florida Statute 720.306(b) disqualifies anyone from being a director of an HOA if they are convicted of a felony unless their civil rights have been restored within five years of the date they seek election.
For those interested, here are the case numbers from the Palm Beach County Clerk’s official website, and you can read all the documents yourself as they are all posted for public consumption:
Jeff: Case No. 50-2021-CA-001543-xxxx-MB
Harvey: Case No. 50-2020-CA-011651-xxxx-MB
Now on to the rest of my report.
Part II: Political Mudslinging
What appears to be a false and manipulative email sent to the community must be addressed. On Tuesday afternoon, October 4, 2022, the four officers (Jeff, Harvey, Pat, and Richard) sent out an email to the entire community, through the property manager’s office.
It included the following sentence: “There has been substantial misinformation circulated to the community.”
Assuming they are referring to director Arthur’s reports to the community, which we believe they most certainly are, and my reports, this statement made by them is false, manipulative, and an abuse of power, and the property manager should have refused the request to blast it to the community.
Everything reported by us is factual. They are likely going apoplectic because Arthur is being honest, open, and transparent with the community as to what they are doing behind the scenes, and it appears to us that they are using your money to pay lawyers to cover for them because they clearly feel the threat to their power.
In our opinion, they don’t want transparency; they want secrecy and complete control over the narrative regardless of its lack of veracity.
This email from these four officers was also done to rally their troops: they encouraged people to come to the Board meeting so that their mob could circle the wagons around them. That very small “crowd,” and I use that word hyperbolically, does not represent this community.
Vote these directors out of their directorships at the next opportunity for each of them (Jeff and Harvey this coming March; Richard and Pat the following year). And that’s what this is really about: they are petrified because they are vulnerable at their re-election time, and they know it.
Jeff, the president, and Harvey, the vice-president, are so concerned with the upcoming March elections that they have decided to begin their campaigning now. It sure looks like it to me. This is pure political mudslinging. They know full well that the community is fed up with them, so they have resorted to unethical measures to try and stem the vote-bleeding.
Part III: Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up
Most people will remember that classic show, To Tell The Truth, which started in 1956, and you can see reruns in various places. They had three people claim to be the same person with an interesting or unusual occupation and the panelists questioned them to try and determine who was the real named person with the stated occupation.
At the end, the moderator said, “Will the real so-and-so please stand up.” And the real person with that name and occupation stood up, revealing himself or herself.