Police: Atlanta HOA Didn’t Pay Insurance Money to 18 Families Displaced by Fire

Police: Atlanta HOA Didn’t Pay Insurance Money to 18 Families Displaced by Fire

Police say an Atlanta homeowners association never paid 18 out of 24 families their insurance money after a devastating fire.

Grace Smith and her husband, a retired Navy veteran, purchased a condo in Atlanta’s Camelot Condo complex in 2019. But the couple never moved into their retirement home. In January 2020, the complex was destroyed by a fire. 

The Smiths, along with 23 other families, were displaced after two buildings burned down.

In a phone interview with WSB TV, Smith said that she and her husband were told the complex homeowners’ association decided not to rebuild, but they would get $45,000 in insurance money for their unit. The couple never received payment. And police say only six of the 24 families were paid. 

“These were his retirement funds we invested. No income, no condo–nothing,” Grace Smith said.

The Smiths contacted the Fulton County District Attorney’s office to investigate Camelot’s Homeowners Association. When police subpoenaed the HOA’s bank records, they discovered the HOA received $1.5 million in insurance payments in  2020. Police say that former Camelot HOA President Bettye Ligon and treasurer Lyndon Baldwin Sr. wrote checks to themselves. 

On Nov. 2, city officials announced that they have warrants against Ligon and Baldwin, charging them with theft by conversion and theft by taking. 

Two state representatives are trying to help the Smiths and other condo owners get the money owed to them and writing legislation to prevent this from happening again. 

On Nov. 4, District 5′s Kalvin Bennett hosted “The Forum at Camelot,” inviting residents to discuss the developing case and to propose ongoing solutions.

South Fulton County Police Chief Keith Meadows said  he anticipates there will be more arrests. 

Residents whose unit was destroyed and did not receive insurance funds should contact Lieutenant Ebony Bullock South from the South Fulton Police Department at 470-440-9681.

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