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[ATG] Indy real estate broker faces emergency suspension
Start Date: 1/14/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 1/14/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office filed a petition to suspend David Garden, president of Star Homes, after complaints revealed a pattern of deceit and misuse of funds.

In August, the Attorney General’s office filed a licensing complaint with the Indiana Real Estate Commission against Garden citing fraud and failure to return earnest money. A board hearing to consider the complaint was set for Jan. 23, but has since been continued and no new date has been set.

“Since filing a complaint against David Garden our office has received 16 additional consumer complaints which raised several red flags,” said Gabrielle Owens, Deputy Director of the Attorney General’s Licensing Enforcement and Homeowner Protection Unit.  “We believe the serious and repetitive nature of the allegations warrant an emergency suspension. A suspension would protect consumers while the board considers our formal licensing complaint.”

The board will consider and vote on the petition for emergency suspension at its meeting beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 23, in the Indiana Government Center South Building in Room W064.

 

Owens said the additional consumer complaints demonstrated a continued misuse of funds including conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud, failure to remit earnest money and license renewal fraud.

 

According to the petition, one customer paid $1,000 earnest money to Garden Home Realty to place a $23,000 bid on a HUD property located in Indianapolis. The customer later found out that HUD only requires a $500 earnest money payment. The buyer later paid a separate broker $500 earnest deposit and placed a bid on the same property for $21,000 – which he won. The customer never received a refund from Garden.

 

In another case, a customer paid $1,000 earnest money and made an offer to purchase a commercial property from Garden. The individual’s offer was not accepted and his earnest payment was not returned.

 

An Indianapolis couple signed a lease and paid a $1,000 security deposit on a rental property owned by Garden. According to the petition, the renters were told the home would be remodeled and in “showroom condition” upon move-in, but the property was “infested with roaches” and the carpets “smelled of dog urine and feces.” The couple decided not to rent the property, but demands for a refund of the deposit were denied.

 

According to the filing, Garden renewed his real estate broker’s license in 2009 without acknowledging that criminal charges were pending against him. In 2011, Garden renewed his license again and failed to acknowledge he had pled guilty to Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) with a prior OWI. Garden replied “no” both times on the license renewal form when asked, “Since you last renewed have you been convicted of or pled guilty to a violation of a federal or state law or are criminal charges pending?”

-30-

Contact Information:
Name: Erin Reece
Phone: 317.232.0168
Email: Erin.Reece@atg.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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Entry Category:
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  • Agency Name
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