NORTH NAPLES - The Bonita Bay Group is being investigated by Florida's Attorney General for fraud. Now, some residents chosen in a raffle to get their initial deposits back say the raffle wasn't random.
Residents at The Bonita Bay Group's Mediterra community say some people lost nearly $200 thousand in membership fees. The developer initially promised the residents would get a refund if they wanted to cancel. But, when the time came, no one saw a dime. Michael Lissack is one of those people, he says The Bonita Bay Group owes him more than $10 thousand.
"It's not just the money," says Lissack. "it's interest, it's time, it's attorneys' fees, it's damage to our land values."
Lissack was very surprised when he recently received a check from the developer for $13 hundred.
"The letter said nothing about the lawsuit and the check was for the wrong amount," says Lissack.
Many of his neighbors got checks too. They were chosen in what the developer called a random raffle. Lissack doesn't buy it.
"Funny how the people they were litigating against got the checks," says Lissack.
"We're doing our level best in a very difficult environment to do the right thing and to be forthright and transparent in our process," says Brian Lucas, Vice Chairman of The Bonita Bay Group. "I'm hopeful that people will see this for what it is and find this to be a positive development."
"If it was genuine to the rest of the people who got the checks they would have said we're sorry," says Lissack.
Lissack says some people are cashing the checks, but he and many others are not cashing them and continuing with litigation.