Ex-Hammocks HOA president’s cousin charged in connection to alleged massive fraud

Kevin Leonardo Alzate played a role in delaying investigation, authorities say

Ex-Hammocks President’s Cousin Charged in Alleged HOA Fraud
Kevin Leonardo Alzate (Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty, Google Maps, Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office)

A sixth person was arrested in connection to an alleged massive fraud at the Hammocks, marking the latest fallout in the case against ex-leaders of the homeowners association and their family members. 

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office says that Kevin Leonardo Alzate was involved in the scheme by contributing to the HOA’s delays and refusals to turn over records subpoenaed by investigators, according to an affidavit in support of the arrest warrant. 

Police arrested Alzate on Friday on charges of perjury by contradictory statements, fabricating physical evidence and resisting an officer without violence. His public defenders declined comment. 

Alzate, 32, is a cousin of former Hammocks board President Marglli Gallego, who is among the five arrested in November of last year. In a state attorney’s office affidavit issued at the time, investigators allege some former board members hired bogus contractors that did little to no work on the property and approved invoice payments, diverting some of the funds, including to Gallego. Aside from Gallego, ex-board members Myriam Rodgers, Monica Ghilardi and Yoleidis Lopez Garcia, as well as Gallego’s husband, Jose Antonio Gonzalez, were also arrested. Gonzalez led some of the firms hired by the HOA, investigators claim. All five have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial. 

In past statements, Gonzalez’s attorney denied the allegations and called the claims against Gonzalez “misplaced”. 

The Hammocks consists of 40 communities and 6,527 residential units, including apartment buildings, single-family homes and townhouses. It’s roughly between Southwest 120th and 88th streets and between Southwest 147th and 162nd avenues.

The Hammocks case unraveled after a roughly five-year investigation, with many of the delays caused by former HOA leaders’ dogged fight against records subpoenas, allegedly including with Alzate’s help, the state attorney’s office claims in court filings. Authorities subpoenaed the Hammocks for records in 2018, 2020 and 2021, according to investigators.  

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In response to the records requests, the HOA provided notarized affidavits with sworn statements by Alzate. In a 2020 notarized affidavit, Alzate swore that the HOA provided 12,500 pages to the Miami-Dade Police Department for the 2018 subpoena and cited a cost of $6,297 for these documents. In a follow-up affidavit, Alzate “swore under oath before a notary that he is the custodian of records for the Hammocks,” the state attorney’s office says in court filings.

In subsequent years, the HOA continued to fight judges’ orders to produce records, some of which were upheld by an appeals court. In July, when Alzate was called to testify in court, he provided information that contradicted previous documents provided by the HOA representing him as the records custodian. When he was presented with his signed affidavits identifying him as the custodian, Alzate told the court “he may not have read the entire document … and that he did not author the affidavit,” the state attorney’s office says. Alzate also claimed in court that he was asked to sign the affidavits by a board member, though he didn’t identify which one. 

“He stated that he had never handled requests for HOA documents,” Emiliano Tamayo, who heads the Hammocks investigation for the state attorney’s office, wrote in Alzate’s arrest affidavit. 

When authorities originally went to serve Alzate with papers for his July court hearing, body cameras worn by investigators showed him refusing to accept service, filming investigators and making phone calls. At one point, he refused to accept the court service paper handed to him, “letting it fall to the ground instead of taking it,” his arrest affidavit says. 

In a press conference on Friday, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said that providing conflicting information about his duties at the Hammocks is “insulting to the court, and that is insulting to the judicial process,” NBC 6 South Florida reported

“Every day that he was facilitating us not getting those records, the thievery was continuing,” Fernandez Rundle said, the TV station reported. 

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