ALAMEDA | Don Lindsey, who is one of Alameda’s most powerful landlords and is a leader among property owners strongly opposed to rent control on the Island, is under investigation by the California Bureau of Real Estate for alleged financial improprieties. A state investigator is accusing Lindsey of failing to provide proper accounting for various tenants’ fees, according to a complaint filed last month with the Bureau of Real Estate. If proven, the charges could result in Lindsey losing his real estate license, the complaint states.
The complaint, filed December 16, includes an allegation by a state investigator that Gallagher & Lindsey Property Management, the firm co-founded by Lindsey in 1967, collected $2,124 from three prospective tenants, but failed to deposit the proceeds into a trust fund or specific bank accounts as required by law.
And an audit of Lindsey Properties, Inc. in December 2014 found that bank accounts reported to contain property management fees charged to renters was $72,465 less than what it should be under the law. In addition, withdrawals were made from the accounts without proper consent given by the renters. The complaint also alleges Lindsey’s companies failed to place financial proceeds into a dedicated trust fund in the name of each tenant and that withdrawals were made from the account by two unlicensed individuals. In addition, Lindsey failed to provide copies of cancelled checks from the bank account to the investigator, according to the complaint, which was first reported by Indymedia.
In an interview, Lindsey said the allegations have been remedied and he denied any wrongdoing. “I have a thirty-year history of no complaints and a spotless history,” he said. “I know this makes good headlines, but it’s not true.”