Noblesville contractor charged with home development fraud
INDIANAPOLIS — A Noblesville contractor first uncovered using Call 6 Investigates in 2018 is now facing a crook fee for the first time in Indiana in connection along with his enterprise practices.
Mark Sellers is accused of taking cash from clients in principal Indiana and not finishing the work.
Bob and Lisa Dunkel, of Greenfield, wanted a pole barn of their outdoor so that they determined Sellers on Craigslist and hired him to do the job.
The Dunkels paid Sellers a $4,000 deposit at the pole barn, facts show.
Prosecutors in Hancock County stated Sellers drilled holes and put up poles, however, didn’t measure well, so not one of the lumber fit.
Plus, Sellers dug holes that needed to be pumped out because they were complete of water, in keeping with the likely reason affidavit.
Court records display. Sellers made excuses for not finishing the task, after which asked the Dunkels for an extra $2,500.
The Dunkels contacted Greenfield Police who investigated, and on Jan. 14, Hancock County prosecutors charged Sellers with home improvement fraud, a misdemeanor.
“He demanded additional payment for the paintings, even though a number of the work that became accomplished was now not completed as much as the specifications at the settlement,” Hancock County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Marie Castetter said. “The costs were filed because he failed to complete the work and he did not speak any further with that. We sense there was some deception in his actions.”
Sellers’ agreement with the Dunkels indexed his corporation as Indiana Choice Builders at 111172 Allisonville Road in Fishers.
But that address doesn’t exist, and there is no Indiana Choice Builders registered as a commercial enterprise in Indiana, facts show.
Prosecutors said while purchasers don’t have the right deal with, that makes it difficult for purchasers to get their money returned or take criminal motion against a contractor.
“The letter of the regulation may be self-explanatory if they misrepresent their enterprise cope with — that is a crime,” Castetter said. “That is a Class B misdemeanor but (Sellers case) turned into greater to a Class A misdemeanor due to the fact the property was broken in addition to that.”
Sellers is going through problems in the civil courtroom as well.
Following a Call 6 investigation, the Attorney General’s workplace filed a civil lawsuit towards Sellers in July 2018 accusing Sellers of misleading practices, including taking humans’ cash and not completing the activity.
On Feb. 22, Hamilton Superior Court Judge William Hughes granted a preliminary injunction towards Sellers that prevents the contractor from soliciting or engaging in purchaser transactions without an agreement that follows the Indiana Home Improvement Contracts Act.
Sellers can nonetheless do production paintings, but, he should complete any contracted work as agreed, consistent with the injunction.
As Call 6 Investigates has pronounced, consumers have filed new lawsuits towards Sellers for taking people’s money and not completing the task.
Lisa Dunkel, the Greenfield patron who contacted police about Sellers, additionally filed a grievance approximately the contractor with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.
The decide inside the Attorney General’s office case noted that Sellers had acquired a copy of the country’s civil lawsuit in opposition to him in July 2018.
“Despite receiving observe of the State’s Complaint and the multitude of deficiencies in his contracts, Sellers persisted to solicit and interact in customer transactions for actual assets upgrades, particularly by way of contracting with Consumer Dunkel to construct a pole barn and failing to consist of additives required with the aid of the Indiana Home Improvement Contracts Act,” examine the injunction.
The decide referred to Sellers’ alleged violations of the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act are “unlawful and really towards the public hobby.”
The Indiana Attorney General’s workplace is asking the general public to contact their office.
“If customers have issues concerning contracts or paintings that Mr. Sellers has finished or failed to finish they ought to document a grievance with the Office,” consistent with an announcement from the Indiana Attorney General’s office. “If the failure to finish the paintings or input a settlement takes place after this order was entered the Attorney General may be capable are looking for also remedies Noblesville contractor accused of making cash, now not doing the paintings promised
The Boulder County District Attorney’s workplace sued Sellers in 2011 for low-balling clients using underbidding creation tasks, mispresenting his masonry work on his website, and for using misleading trade practices.
They acquired a $32,084 judgment in opposition to Sellers.
Records show Sellers, who do in general concrete and masonry, has mounting civil judgments in Indiana relationship returned to 2014 totaling extra than $110,000.
Call 6 Investigates met up with Sellers in March 2018, and he said he’s operating on paying humans returned.
“Yeah, thru the judgments we can,” Sellers said. “I’m working on that.”
Consumers we talked with say they have not received a dime from Sellers because our story aired in May 2018.
Sellers made document response to the Attorney General’s lawsuit in which he denied a number of the allegations and said he couldn’t end some of the roles because his customers prevented him from doing so.
View Sellers’ complete reaction to the AG lawsuit right here:
If Sellers is convicted of domestic improvement fraud inside the criminal case, the prosecutor hopes to get the Dunkels their money again.
“Any sentence might probably include restitution,” Castetter Aus. “That’s truly critical to make the victims complete.”
Meanwhile, the Dunkel family had to hire someone else to finish their barn.
As for Sellers, he’s due in court docket on the criminal case on March eleven at nine a.M. In Hancock County.
He faces up to a yr behind bars and a $5,000 nice.