Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Wheeling Police Giving Presentation for Cedar Run Residents

Apologies for the day-of notice, but we have been informed that the Wheeling Police Crime Prevention Division will be giving a presentation this evening at the Cedar Run Clubhouse.

It will take place at 7:30PM

All residents and owners are welcome

The topic will be how to call & interact with police and how to properly file a police report.  There will also be an open forum after the presentation where everyone will have the chance to provide feedback and ask questions.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Updates from Receiver (HHSG)

Staff at Heil, Heil, Smart & Golee have reached out to us and provided some updates on some pertinent issues for Cedar Run

The following information has been quoted and/or paraphrased from the correspondence that we've had with the receiver.



Snow Removal
  • In light of the precipitation on 12/28, LCM (Landscape Concepts Management) has been instructed to throw salt and to be on standby for downed trees/limbs due to high winds.

Parking

Clearly an imperfect solution but the only solution until a new board is elected.
  1. Towing has begun for specific issues (blocking dumpster, hydrants, yellow curbs).  Two cars were towed as of December 22nd.
  2. We have been calling people that had spots in 2015 but have not reregistered for 2016 to give them a final chance to renew their spot and prevent getting towed.
  3. Owners who were delinquent on their assessments were not given a parking space for 2016.
  4. Many people had special “deals” with the Sher/Shaw group, but those have not been continued.  Rules are being applied equally to all owners/residents as stated under the existing parking program.
  5. Starting December 23rd, available spots are being assigned to owners on the waiting list.
  6. Cars without stickers will start getting towed soon.
  7.  More aggressive parking patrols will begin after the 1st of Jan.
  8. The goal is not to tow cars but to apply the rules as stated and change behavior.
  9. ***UPDATE 1/11/2016*** - Towing for vehicles without proper stickers has now begun.
Financials
  1. The FR&R report (aka the Frost report) will be available in Spanish soon.
  2. The FR&R report is being used to settle outstanding balances for homeowners.
  3. Numerous owners are now entering the collection process and will be turned over to a collection attorney in early January of 2016 if they haven't made arrangements to settle up by then.
  4. ***UPDATE 1/11/2016*** - 10 day notices for delinquent owners have now expired. Delinquent owners are being turned over to an attorney for collections.
Swimming Pool for 2016
  1. The pool is scheduled to be open 28 May thru 4 September.
  2. Contracts are in place for Life guards and the opening/closing of the pool as well as weekly maintenance.
  3. Extensive pool repairs are planned for 2016 (signed contracts for the pump room and getting estimates for the pool itself)
Maintenance
  • We are working on a new sign for the Cedar Run entrance.  The sign was hit in an accident and destroyed.

Once again please understand that the above information above came directly from HHSG.  Any opinions expressed do not represent the opinions of the blog editors or contributors.

We do, however, appreciate the efforts of HHSG to reach out to directly to us  to provide this update.  Whether it's via this blog or otherwise....whether it's good news or bad news, most homeowners would agree that more communication is desired.

For an official answer to any questions or concerns about the above information, you will need to contact HHSG directly.  Posting in the comments section will not guarantee that your question/comment is received or addressed..

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cedar Run Accounting Report Now Available!!

SEE THE REPORT THAT THE SHER/SHAW GROUP DOESN'T WANT YOU TO SEE!!

Cedar Run homeowners recently received a letter from the receiver (HHSG), indicating that the report from the accounting firm Frost, Ruttenberg, & Rothblatt (FR&R) is now available to all homeowners.  This report (referred to in court as 'The Frost Report')contains an analysis of the Cedar Run HOC financial records going back from 2011 through early 2015.

The Sher/Shaw group has been FIGHTING DESPERATELY FOR MONTHS to keep YOU from seeing this report!
(see the 11/4/15 hearing transcript for the final stage of this battle along with judge's decision)

There are two main components to the Frost Report:

Body of the report
About 27 pages that explain and summarize FR&R's findings and methods used to come up with their findings.

Exhibits
Over 3000 pages of contracts, bank records, invoices, receipts, and all other backup material referenced in the body of the report.  It also includes reconstructed ledgers that FR&R created since the Sher/Shaw group had no real financial system in place.


How to obtain copies of the report

As stated in HHSG's letter, printed copies of the body of the report (27 pages) may be obtained at the Cedar Run clubhouse (in English only for now). Electronic copies can also be requested by emailing hsd@hhsg.net.

OR

You can view and download the English version right here on the blog.  Click HERE
(Spanish version to be posted when available)

The exhibits (3000+ pages) can be viewed in person, at the clubhouse by any homeowner.  We are still trying to get clarification on exactly how this will be handled, but we believe that it will require an appointment.


What's in the report?

We'll post a more detailed summary and analysis of the report at a later date.  But here are just a few highlights:

  • $168,920.55  paid to Robert Sher & Jack Shaw since they took over Cedar Run
    • ($103,479.98 to Robert; $65,440.57 to Jack)
  • $218,105.04 in legal fees paid out to Shaw Legal Services through February of 2015
    • (That may not include what was paid out to them after February of 2015, which is over $20,000)
  • $35,462.52 paid to board members
  • $27,395.58 in debit card transactions with NO RECEIPTS OR BACKUP DOCUMENTATION
  • $18,817.86 in reimbursement checks payable to Robert Sher with NO RECEIPTS OR BACKUP DOCUMENTATION
  • $167,905.92 in delinquent assessments that were never collected
    • (about $107,000 may now need to be written off as noncollectable, bad debt)
  • $43,833.91 paid to settle unnecessary, frivolous lawsuits with vendors.
  • $10,147.86 in loans given out to Zac's Landscaping with no evidence of it being paid back or any agreement to pay it back.
    • (plus $2000 of homeowner funds given to Zac's to purchase a snow plow with with no requirement for Zac's to pay it back)
  • Countless examples that show a clear pattern of utter incompetence, lack of organization, and irresponsible handling of the association's finances.

Stay tuned for a more in-depth breakdown of the Frost Report's findings and what these findings mean for Cedar Run. For now, please encourage your fellow homeowners to obtain their own copy of the report and read it thoroughly.

Spanish version of the report will be available soon for download/distribution to Latino homeowners.

The Frost report is the first real dose of transparency that we've seen in over THREE YEARS!


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Monday, November 16, 2015

Cedar Run Update - Receiver's Report w/ Financials Available

The receiver's most recent (sixth) report, as presented in court on 11/4 is now available.

To view or download the report, click HERE.
(Please note that although the heading of the report says it is the fifth report, it is actually the sixth)

**UPDATE**
Transcript from 11/4 hearing now available by clicking HERE
**UPDATE**

Full Audit Not Possible
Most notably, the report indicates that a certified audit of Cedar Run's financial records during the Sher/Shaw tenure (August of 2012 through February of 2015) CANNOT and WILL NOT be done (item #14).  This is due to a myriad of issues with the way the association was run under the Sher/Shaw and in part due to the legal complexities of Cedar Run at present day.

  • There was essentially NO FINANCIAL SYSTEM or accounting procedures under Sher/Shaw
  • No meeting minutes or backup documentation on MAJOR transactions
  • Multiple tax returns not filed, no financial statements or bank reconciliations
  • The list could go on forever.......
All of the above items must be available for a CPA to perform a proper and certified audit.  As mentioned in the receiver's report, "[there is] sufficient doubt about management's integrity, such that representations are not reliable" [emphasis added].   See the receiver's report for a more in-depth explanation of why an audit cannot be done (page 11) and for a list of alternative options in lieu of an audit (page 5).


Clarification
Since Cedar Run was first placed into receivership, the accounting firm Frost, Ruttenberg & Rothblatt (aka FR&R, aka 'Frost') had been been reviewing the Cedar Run HOC's financial records, en route to produce a report (which came in at around 3000 pages). During this process (from February to September of 2015), we had often referred to Frost as 'the auditors'.  This was actually an error.

While Frost was performing many tasks that one could consider to be 'auditing' the books, the report they produced (all 3000 pages of it) is NOT an audit. The over-simplified explanation is that the report is a reconstruction of the financials in order to properly determine what the HOC's assets & liabilities are, determine the correct balances for all 408 owner accounts, and put the records in order so an actual audit could then be done.  This was needed because (as mentioned previously) the Sher/Shaw group essentially had no real financial system in place.

In theory, once the Frost Report was complete, a different CPA firm would then perform an audit (Frost cannot because it would be considered a conflict).  But in reality......well, you know the rest.


Current Financial State
And now for a dose of good news.  The current financial state of the Cedar Run HOC has improved dramatically as of this report. The cash situation and near-term financial outlook for a new board (whenever we get one) is looking much better than expected despite the MAJOR expenses needed to clean up the Sher/Shaw mess.

Cash Assets as of 9/30/15
Contributing factors to this include:
  • Shaw Legal Services no longer being paid with homeowner funds (though Anne/Caryn Shaw are fighting desperately to change this)
  • Reduced rate and reduced number of hours spent by receiver and receiver's staff
  • Settling of unpaid assessments due to the HOC from owners (though there is much more that still needs to be settled)

Frost Report Available Soon
Per the judge's order on 11/4/2015, the receiver will make the Frost Report available to all Cedar Run unit owners.  We expect this report to reveal never-seen information on Cedar Run's state of disarray under the Sher/Shaw group. We expect some of the facts and figures to be quite telling and quite shocking.  You DEFINITELY WANT TO READ THIS ONE!!

The court order requires the receiver to 'publish' the report, but it is unclear how it will actually be distributed to homeowners.  If a true, correct, and verifiable copy of this report becomes available soon enough, you may just see it on the blog first.

Please stay tuned!

We'd love to hear from you!
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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Cedar Run (brief) Legal Update

There have been some significant legal developments in Cedar Run.

Cedar Run Phase IV vs. Robert Sher
As mentioned in a previous blog post from 8/21/15, Robert Sher's phase association had taken him to court for unpaid assessments & legals fees.  Based on the amount owed, it appeared that Sher had not paid his Phase dues for over three years.

On 9/24/15, a judgement was entered against Sher, and Cedar Run Phase IV was granted an order of possession for his unit.  Facing imminent eviction, that would have happened on or around 11/24/15, Sher (begrudgingly no doubt) paid off his ENTIRE judgement.  Including legal fees & court costs, it is estimated that Sher had to pay in excess of $8000 to vacate the judgement.  On 10/21/15, the judgement was vacated and the case was dismissed.

SO.....apparently he's here to stay folks, but at least he has FINALLY paid his dues like the rest of us.

Click HERE to view the public Court Docket.
Click HERE to view our original blog post from 8/21.


Master Board (HOC) Litigation
On 11/4/15, two issues were brought before Judge Garcia by Anne Shaw

  1. Anne's request to be paid with HOC (Homeowner) funds for her legal services dating back to February (when receivership began).  Result: DENIED  **UPDATE/CORRECTION** Judge did not issue a ruling on this despite Anne Shaw's urging to grant her payment**
  2. Anne/Caryn Shaw's motion to strike the report from the accounting firm Frost, Ruttenberg & Rothblatt (aka 'the Frost report')  Result: WITHDRAWN (meaning that Anne Shaw basically gave up after realizing she has no chance of winning). **UPDATE**Anne Shaw also admitted to using false facts facts in her motion***
What we do know is the following:
  • The Frost report will now be made available for ALL Cedar Run Homeowners.
  • The Receiver will disseminate the Frost report information by publishing the 25-30 page "body"of the report.
  • The body of the report will also be translated to Spanish so Hispanic owners can understand the information.
  • All Cedar Run homeowners will also have the option of reviewing the full 3000 page Frost report at the Clubhouse office.
We'll know more about these developments once the 11/4/15 hearing transcript is available.  We will also obtain a copy of the latest receiver's report.  But for now, the order that was entered on 11/4/15 can be viewed HERE.

**UPDATE**
Transcript from 11/4 hearing now available by clicking HERE
**UPDATE**

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cedar Run Parking Policy and HHSG Account Statement

Cedar Run homeowners should have received a mailing from the receiver.  This mailing included two important items:
  1. The new Cedar Run Parking Policy, effective November 1st, 2015.
  2. An updated** account statement.


1.  Parking Policy

You can view the Parking Policy portion of the mailing by clicking HERE.

When read verbatim, the policy requires registration, payment and full compliance by November 1st.  Given that most homeowners likely received this notice on October 26th (only 6 days before-hand), it is highly unlikely that 187 owners will be in full compliance by the effective date.  No information has been released about possible grace periods on parking rule enforcement.

In light of the above, please direct any questions to the receiver and/or clubhouse staff.

2.  Account Statement

Statements prior to this only included balances accrued after HHSG became receiver (March 2015 to present).  This new statement now shows the 'ledger balance'.  The ledger balance includes balances/payments from BEFORE receivership (February 2015 and earlier).  The information used to generate this ledger balance came from the previously mentioned 3000 page accounting report.

**What will NOT be included in this ledger balance is any payment, made in March 2015 or later, that was sent to ANY OTHER payment address other than the one in Los Angeles, CA.  Payments sent to the Wheeling or Chicago addresses are still being reconciled, and it may take a month or two before they are reflected on account statements.


In other news, the next court hearing is on Wednesday, November 4th at 2PM.  There will be multiple issues brought before the court, and hopefully there will be time to address all of them.  The two most prevalent issues are:
  1. The Sher/Shaw motion to strike the accounting report.
  2. Determining whether or not Shaw Legal Services should be paid (with homeowner funds) for any of their efforts AFTER we were put in receivership.
This should be an interesting one........................

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Cedar Run (Quick) Legal Update - 9/21 Transcript & Receiver's Report

As previously mentioned in the comments section of the blog, the last court hearing on 9/21 was a significant one.  The long-awaited financial report from the accounting firm is now complete, and it has been submitted to the court.

It's at least 3000 pages long!!!  

The Sher/Shaw group is objecting to the report, presumably because it contains information that they don't want Cedar Run homeowners to see.  They have filed a 'motion to strike' the report, and they are hoping to convince the judge to essentially void or invalidate it.

You can view that motion (as prepared by Ms. Caryn Shaw) by clicking HERE.

The motion includes the Table of Contents from the actual report (Exhibit B)....which should give you a general idea of what information the report contains.  They (very conveniently) make little reference to the actual contents of the report.....because referencing certain content would require them to include it as an exhibit, which would make it viewable to the public.  They are putting forth tremendous efforts to keep us from seeing this report.

We'll delve further into the details in our next blog entry, but for now:
  • You can view a transcript of the 9/21 hearing by clicking HERE
  • You can view the fifth receiver's report by clicking HERE
(note: Both include a significant development regarding the parking program - a topic that has received much discussion in this blog's comments section)