William J. Cox Jr., 61, is facing one count of organized scheme to defraud and grand theft over $100,000. Authorities say Cox and another person stole an estimated $339,507.69 from the Lantana Homes Homeowners Association. A probable-cause arrest affidavit did not disclose the identity of Cox’s alleged accomplice.
Cox was released from the Palm Beach County Jail on Wednesday after posting $20,000 bail. He reportedly was the HOA president for 12 years for Lantana Homes, a single-family home community near Lantana Road and east of Jog Road.
Palm Beach County sheriff’s investigators say the alleged theft of funds occurred between September 2011 and March 2015, when Cox’s tenure as president ended.
An investigation was started in September 2015 when the new HOA president reported discrepancies in the community association’s financial records.
The alleged discrepancies included checks listed as payments to one place that were actually written to a trash removal and cleaning company created by Cox. He also used HOA funds to pay personal expenses, including his homeowner’s and car insurance policies, the sheriff’s office said in its report.
The HOA’s board reportedly approved of paying Cox’s entire electric bill because he stored equipment — including computers, a postage machine and folding machine — at his home due to the HOA not having an office. The agreement was later revised so that the community association would pay two-thirds of the Cox’s electric bill, the sheriff’s office said.