Beware of Red Flags Recognizing and Avoiding Financial Irregularities

Consider the story of Dave. He was the treasurer for his co-op, and served the board for just over four years. Dave felt that he'd done a tremendous job—not that anyone ever noticed, much less bothered to thank him.

As far as Dave was concerned, his fellow board members were useless. Tim, the president, worked for an oil company and was overseas for big chunks of time, dumping the bulk of his building-related duties in Dave's lap. Wallace, the vice president, had served on the board since the Eisenhower administration and still thought a "computer" was a mathematician. Susan, the secretary, was nice and all but had the business acumen of a pair of loafers. That left Dave.

When Dave's neighbors saw him in the hall, after the perfunctory pleasantries, they would inevitably start grousing about every little thing. The elevator is too slow. The garbage cans smell. The guy in 2A plays loud music until all hours. And on and on and on.

Dave began to feel as though if he were to leave the board, the building would collapse. It's complicated stuff, running a co-op, and no one else on the board was up to the task. No one else even recognized it as a task! Dave was getting fed up. No one appreciated what he did—all the time and effort he volunteered, and for what? Dave never saw a dime for all his extra work.

Then one month, something happened. Dave forgot to pay his maintenance. That was unlike him; he was usually the type who remembered things. For some reason—probably all the stress and frustration—it slipped his mind. Dave was sure that the board president would bring it to his attention when he saw the monthly statement…but since Tim never read the monthly statements (and probably not the annual statements, either), he never said a word. Dave was the only one who pored over those papers, so it was easy for him to let it slide.


Related Articles

Maintenance Charge Increases

When, Why, and How to Raise Monthly Fees

The New ‘Mansion Tax’: What Does It Mean for NYC Homeowners?

The Other Alternative Would've Been a Pied-a-Terre Tax

Capital Reserve Funds

How Much Do You Really Need?



  • I am a board member and I know for a fact that our board president is receiving kickbacks in the thousdands from property contractors. The Landscaper, The Contruction companies and the Security company. I hada Construction owner pull me aside and tell me that he gave our president thousands of dollars for work he got on our property. So what do i do now? I do i stop a Board president from stealing from our co-op? Please tell me.