Suit Offers Theory on Va. Groups' Missing Funds
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Ever since an estimated $2.2 million from hundreds of Northern Virginia condominium and homeowner associations was found to be missing this year, no one -- no lawyer, state regulator or auditor -- has been able to answer the most critical question: Where did it go?
The authorities might want to check out a stylish new steak and sushi place on Capitol Hill, the one with the hardwood floors, the five plasma screen TVs behind the 35-foot bar and an ahi tuna tartar that's gotten good reviews. That's the contention of a lawsuit filed in D.C. Superior Court last month by the restaurant's majority partner, Jordan Cappolla.
Cappolla opened Jordan's 8 this summer in the resurgent Barracks Row district along Eighth Street SE. His partner, who invested more than $800,000 in the venture, according to the suit, is Amber Lynn Koger, the wife of Jeffrey S. Koger, former chief financial officer of Koger Management Group. The Fairfax City company collected assessments on homeowners and handled other business for about 400 condominium and homeowner groups before it was placed under court supervision Feb. 26 by a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge.
The court's action was in response to a complaint filed by the Virginia Real Estate Board and the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation alleging that large cash withdrawals had been made from association accounts without proper documentation.
The complaint named Koger, 38, the son of company President Robert A. Koger, as "the likely primary culprit for embezzling the funds." In July, a forensic accountant hired by the real estate board said that at least $2.2 million had been stolen from association accounts -- and that the losses were likely to grow as more associations audited their books.
No charges have been filed against Jeffrey or Amber Koger. No one answered yesterday at their home phone number in Herndon. Amber Koger's attorney, Bradley Chase of Fairfax City, did not return a phone message yesterday.
A man came to the door of the Koger home in the Fox Mill Acres subdivision yesterday afternoon and said, "You've got the wrong place." The four-bedroom split-level, which sits on a 2.2-acre lot that includes a horse stable, is for sale.
Fairfax City police announced a criminal investigation in January but have made no public statement since then. Cappolla said in an interview that he has been questioned by Internal Revenue Service agents about his dealings with Koger. Some homeowner associations that employed Koger Management have responded to IRS questionnaires.
Robert Koger said he has not spoken with his son since last November. "He could be in Oshkosh or Bangladesh for all I know," he said.
In October, the company filed for protection from creditors in federal Bankruptcy Court.
Cappolla's lawsuit was filed Oct. 4 in Superior Court under the restaurant's corporate name, JIC. It said JIC "has reason to believe that the allegedly stolen funds may have been used to fund Defendant Amber Lynn [Koger's] capital contributions used to purchase her interest in JIC and to develop Jordan's 8."
Cappolla said in an interview that he met Amber Koger about four years ago through Tony Harris, a mutual friend who was an owner of Tri-Fitness, an Annandale health club. According to the suit, Amber Koger was vice president of Tri-Fitnesss, and Jeffrey Koger was treasurer.