NewsTeam 10 Investigates


Carlsbad company owner faces felonies for stealing money

Kelley Zaun operated a property management company
Posted at 9:53 AM, Jan 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-16 13:30:18-05

Update on Jan. 16th: A Carlsbad police spokesperson confirmed that Kelley Zaun was arrested on January 2nd in Jefferson County, Colorado.

The owner of a Carlsbad property management company is facing multiple felonies, accused of taking thousands of dollars from clients.

There is currently an arrest warrant out for Kelley Zaun, the owner of Carousel Properties. Zaun has held a license to operate the business since 2000, but that license has since been revoked.

Team 10 has been following this story since 2016, when clients told investigator Melissa Mecija about money they said went missing. 

A criminal case was filed in mid-December. Martin Benowitz is one of 29 people named as a victim of Zaun in the criminal complaint. He said he lost "somewhere over $7,000."

Benowitz hired Zaun to manage his Oceanside condominium. They were friends at one point when both of them were in a business networking group together. 

Benowitz told Team 10 in 2016 he was notified he owed money on HOA fees. He also said he was missing money from his tenant, even though that tenant paid. Taking care of fees and rent associated with a rental property are typically taken care of by a property management company.

Zaun faces 29 charges of fraudulent appropriation of money. She's accused of taking more than $200,000 from clients. Zaun has yet to face those charges in San Diego County. A Carlsbad police department spokesperson said the investigation is ongoing, but would not go into further detail in order to "not jeopardize [the] investigation."

Benowitz wondered why it took so long to reach this point.

"They knew about the amount of these monies that were taken [and] the number of complaining people a year and a half ago," Benowitz said. 

Team 10 tried to talk to Zaun in April 2016 at her old office, but she did not comment regarding the allegations and referred Team 10 to her attorney. 

Benowitz now takes care of his property himself. He is glad that Zaun is now facing criminal charges, but is skeptical he will see any of the money owed to him.

"I'm not going to hold my breath expecting to receive anything out of it," Benowitz said. 

A most recent records search listed Colorado as Zaun's last address. Team 10 called several phone numbers listed for Zaun and contacted her former attorney, but have yet to hear back.