November 11, 2023
A retired Navy veteran says that he may not be able to afford his retirement home after two HOA members have been charged for taking the money he needs to rebuild his house.
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 HOA decided not to rebuild, but they would get $45,000 in insurance money for their unit. The couple never received payment.
“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. were writing checks to themselves.
On Nov. 2, City Officials announced that they have warrants against Ligon and Baldwin.
The pair has been charged with theft by conversion and theft by taking.
Two state representatives are not only trying to help the Smiths and other condo owners get the money owed to them, but they are 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 stated that they anticipate making more arrests in this case.
Meadows noted that any residents whose unit was destroyed and did not receive insurance funds could contact Lieutenant Ebony Bullock South from the South Fulton Police Department at 470-440-9681.
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