Fresno woman spent 7 years bilking more than $1 million from Minnesota HOAs, feds say




  • In Business
  • 2022-09-27 00:50:53Z
  • By Fresno Bee
 

A Fresno woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Minnesota after allegedly embezzling more than $1 million from homeowners association accounts over a seven-year period.

Mai Houa Xiong, 47, worked as a financial manager for a Minneapolis-based property management company that provided financial services to homeowners associations throughout the Twin Cities metro area.

According to court documents, Xiong had nearly unfettered access to the victim homeowners associations' financials, bank accounts, vendor and contractor payments and bookkeeping systems.

Between February 2015 and February 2022, Xiong allegedly drained money from the accounts to which she had access. These funds were HOA fees collected from residents, intended to pay for maintenance, construction and other costs incurred by the victim associations.

As part of the scheme, Xiong repeatedly accessed the HOAs' bank accounts and conducted electronic transfers of funds directly into her personal bank accounts. Xiong is alleged to have disguised these transfers by making it appear as if they were legitimate HOA expenses.

Xiong also used her position to make cash withdrawals directly from the HOAs' accounts, including making withdrawals after she was fired from her position in July 2021. After her termination, Xiong began collecting unemployment insurance funds. However, even after she found new employment, she continued to wrongfully obtain public unemployment benefits.

Xiong is charged with five counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, four counts of making and filing a false return, and one count of failure to file an individual return. She was arrested on Sept. 22 and made her initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of California.

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