Saturday, May 26, 2018
Public safety

Realty company CFO accused of embezzling from Pinellas condo associations

SEMINOLE — A man who worked as the chief financial officer for 10 local condominium associations is accused of embezzling more than half a million dollars from the associations over the last three years.

Roberto Martin Velez, 45, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of grand theft in connection with the embezzlement of about $560,000, according to Pinellas County Sheriff's officials.

Velez, of Seminole, worked as the CFO for Total Realty Services, a Madeira Beach company that manages funds for several local condominium associations.

The funds helped pay for sale and management of the condominiums, and leasing and rental of individual units.

While working as CFO, Velez transferred money from accounts belonging to the various associations into Total Realty Services accounts, authorities said.

He then wrote checks to himself or made electronic payments to himself from the company's accounts.

It was unclear exactly how authorities became aware of the scheme.

Detectives combed through vast amounts of banking documents, which revealed the theft, officials said.

The condominium associations from which money was taken were Las Brisas, Madeira Bay Resort, Madeira Bay Town Homes, Madeira Bay Resort II, Johns Pass and Total Realty Services, all of Madeira Beach; La Contessa Condo and Royal Orleans in Redington Beach; Gulf Strand in St. Pete Beach; and Palms of Treasure Island.

Velez was booked in the Pinellas County Jail and was being held Tuesday on $560,000 bail.

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