American Property Management flakes on $1,000 fine after $200,000 goes missing from Naples HOA

Dan Glaun
Naples Daily News

American Property Management Services agreed last June to pay state regulators $1,000 to settle complaints it took more than $200,000 from Naples’ Eagle Creek community association without permission.

Its co-owner, Orlando Miserandino Ortiz, also agreed to pay a separate $1,000 fine.

They have not made good on those promises.

Orlando Miserandino Ortiz

“To date, neither licensee has made payment in these cases. As a result, the Department has begun the process to enforce the settlement agreements in court,” state Department of Business and Professional Regulation deputy communications director Patrick Fargason wrote in an email Monday. “Additionally, the failure to satisfy the payments required by the terms of the agreements means the Department can proceed with further disciplinary action against the licensees which could result in the revocation of both licenses.”

Catch up:Collier condo residents, officials not happy with decision in case involving alleged fraud

More:Response awaited from Collier property management company alleged in multi-community fraud

The company took the money in 2019 and initially tried to repay it using unauthorized transfers from its other clients, according to a complaint Eagle Creek filed with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

APMS eventually reimbursed the affected associations and agreed to settle the complaint without admitting wrongdoing. 

The front entrance of Eagle Creek Golf & Country Club on Thursday, March 3, 2022, in Naples, Florida. American Property Management Services allegedly took more than $200,000 without permission from Eagle Creek and then tried to repay it using other clients’ money.

Fines, other fees haven't been paid

But that settlement was contingent on both the company and Ortiz paying $1,000 fines and hundreds of dollars in investigative costs within 30 days. None of that has been paid.

APMS is being sued by 35 community associations in Lee and Collier counties, accusing the company of hijacking their bank accounts in what the plaintiffs’ attorney has described as a multimillion-dollar embezzlement scheme. The company has denied the allegations, claiming in court filings that the associations were aware and approved of its actions.

The company abruptly shuttered its Naples office in January, and the associations’ lawyer says his clients have been unable to reach Ortiz for months and do not know his whereabouts.

Where's that jet been this week? 

A company founded by Ortiz bought a private jet as APMS’ legal problems intensified in 2021. Flight records show the plane has been active, traveling between Miami, Kissimmee, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico just in the last week.

Orlando Miserandino Ortiz created a company, Gama Jets LLC, days after he received notice of a lawsuit. The company then bought a 1999 Hawker 800XP business jet, shown here leaving a Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica, on Feb. 29, 2020. This was before Ortiz bought it.

The company’s alleged misconduct at Eagle Creek was detailed this week in a Naples Daily News / The News-Press investigation.

We'd like to hear from you:Click here to report suspected HOA management fraud in your Southwest Florida community

APMS started taking money from Eagle Creek accounts in August 2019 and started reimbursing the funds in November of that year using money misappropriated from other clients, Eagle Creek alleged.

By the end of November, APMS was no longer representing Eagle Creek. But the transfers threw a wrench into the association's finances, requiring the hiring of a forensic accountant and delaying an audit for months.

The settlement between American Property Management Services and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation settling a complaint by Naples' Eagle Creek community association.

Eagle Creek filed its complaint with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in October 2020. APMS did not settle the complaint until June 2021 — a month and a half after Ortiz's company Gama Jets LLC acquired a Hawker 800XP business jet, which retails for about $2 million.

APMS’ attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

Reporter Michael Braun contributed to this report.

Criminal justice investigative reporter Dan Glaun can be reached at or on Twitter @dglaun.