Tamarac HOA president charged with forging checks

BSO: About $200,000 stolen from residents of Mainlands home community

TAMARAC, Fla. – A South Florida community is dealing with the sting of betrayal, as a once-trusted homeowner's association president is charged with forging her own neighbor's names in a years-long embezzling scheme.

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, Michelle Changar-Coe, who was president from 2009 through last year, stole about $200,000 from the homeowner's association of the Mainlands home community in Tamarac.

Changar-Coe was also a former chairwoman of the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

Deputies said Changar-Coe wrote dozens of forged HOA checks to false names similar to her own that she was able to cash.

One alleged victim is Nancy Ballhorn, a local realtor and the association's current treasurer. Deputies said Changar-Coe forged 22 checks in Ballhorn's name.

Former HOA board member Peggy Schwartz said suspicious began to fall on Changar-Coe when another board member noticed a check with his signature on it.

"He saw a check that he knew he didn't sign and that started the ball rolling," said Schwartz.

Among the allegations is that Changar-Coe wrote a monthly check of $2,575 for a city liaison position that never existed.

And this is not Changar-Coe's first run-in with the law. In 1997 she was charged with grand theft and forging checks.

The community's HOA has since hired a new management company and law firm to represent it in a bid to clean up the association.