Sun City Anthem homeowners Robert Frank, left, and Timothy Stebbins pose outside Anthem Center. Frank and Stebbins accused their home owners association of keeping members’ dues in violation of IRS rules. The pair were arrested by Henderson Police in 2010 for filing a false report but the charges were recently dropped. – “Don’t question your HOA or you might get arrested” – Las Vegas Sun
“The Whistleblower Protection Act” is a federal law that protects federal whistleblowers who work for the government and report agency misconduct. However, whistleblowers of private quasi-governmental homeowners’ association (HOA) boards are not provided with anything that resembles this type of protection. In fact, in Henderson, Nevada if you report an HOA board member for wrongdoing, you could be arrested.
Robert Frank, a 72-year-old retired Air Force Colonel and Tim Stebbins, a 73-year-old retired salesman of analytical instrumentation and laboratory robotics, had concerns about the financial dealings of the Sun City Anthem (SCA) HOA board and filed a complaint with the Henderson Police. Frank was a former board member of the HOA.
According to Frank and Stebbins, the SCA board was accumulating an excessive surplus of over $3 million; money that should have been returned to homeowners. By not returning it, the funds could easily become an IRS tax liability.
Frank, who appears in my documentary The HOAX, says, “we filed a complaint that violated state statutes so they wouldn’t dismiss us and say, ‘go talk to the IRS, that’s not our problem.’ We already researched it with judges, with attorneys, confident people; even people within the district attorney’s office had told us that we were on the right track.”
In the Las Vegas Sun article, Don’t question your HOA or you might get arrested, J. Patrick Coolican writes, “Frank and Stebbins built their case and then sought advice from friends in the legal community to avoid a boomerang lawsuit from the HOA board. They were advised to bring the issue to local law enforcement, meaning Henderson Police. Bad advice.”
Coolican continues, “Frank and Stebbins accused two board members of ‘forgery’ — essentially knowingly signing a false statement — which was probably also imprudent. According to a police affidavit, Frank told the investigator a ‘flagrantly false’ board resolution related to the surplus was ‘used to deceive the community membership and government agencies concerning the improper disposition of millions of dollars of overcharged/surplus homeowner assessments.’ After an investigation, Henderson Police exonerated the board members and then arrested … Frank and Stebbins.”
Yes, Frank and Stebbins were arrested. Can you believe that?
About a year after their arrest, an IRS audit justified Frank’s and Stebbin’s assertion that the SCA owed the U.S. Treasury over $1 million for not returning the money back to the homeowners. So, did the Henderson Police drop charges on these two men upon hearing that evidence? No, not at all. However, these two men were granted a change of venue because a member of the SCA board had previously worked as a substitute Henderson judge.
Approximately one year later, North Las Vegas City Attorney Jeffrey Barr, who prosecuted the case, dropped it, stating, “It was in the interest of justice that the North Las Vegas city attorney decide not to move forward with this case.” No kidding.
So the big question for the city of Henderson is, “Why were these two men ever arrested?” Recently, I sent an email to the new Henderson Chief of Police, Patrick Moers and their Public Information Officer, Keith Paul, asking that very same question, but never received a response. I’m still waiting to hear back from them, but if I don’t, can anyone answer that question?
We are now planning on going back into production, but only for a short period of time. I have recently made contact with an “insider,” who is a former Community Associations Institute (CAI) member and has spent many years working within the confines of an HOA property management company. He wants to share his experiences in The HOAX, which should be very enlightening.
Although we are temporarily going into production, our primary objective remains intact, which is to have a more polished documentary and make a submission of this project to film festivals in North America and abroad.
We need your financial support to complete and distribute The HOAX. Our current needs are:
- Film festival application fees
- Travel expenses
- Pay crew members
- Legal fees
- Music rights
- General and administrative costs
- Other related expenses
You can contribute and earn perks for your support at:
If you don’t feel comfortable contributing online, or if you’d like to make a tax-deductable contribution over $5,000, please make checks payable to “Fractured Atlas” with “The HOAX” in the memo line, then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for mailing instructions. Note: This type of donation will not be reflected in the IndieGoGo fundraising total. (Fractured Atlas, the 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor of the project can only process online contributions up to $5,000.)
Details of Supporting
The HOAX is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of The HOAX must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Best, Rodney Gray Producer and Director of The HOAX