April 24, 2009: Man Who Hasn't Paid 21 Judgments Back in Business
April 24, 2008: Call 6 Investigation: Land Contract Buyers At It Again
November 29, 2006: Court Records: Men Failed To Pay For 22 Homes Over 12 Years
November 29, 2006: Companies Related To Steven Harris And Joseph Stanley
Despite ripping off numerous people, the Marion County Prosecutor's Office refuses to prosecute claiming they haven't broken any criminal laws and it is only a civil matter. As a lawyer, and someone who has worked a lot in the area of real estate, I thought I would point the Prosecutor's Office toward statutes that can be used in a prosecution.
If there is any question whether what they are doing is exerting "unathorized control over property" here's the definition:
IC 35-43-5-3 Deception
(a) A person
(2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity;…
commits deception, a Class A misdemeanor.
Theft; receiving stolen property
(a) A person who knowingly or intentionally exerts unauthorized control over property of another person, with intent to deprive the other person of any part of its value or use, commits theft, a Class D felony.
However, the offense is a Class C felony if the fair market value of the property is at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
(a) A person who knowingly or intentionally exerts unauthorized control over property of another person commits criminal conversion, a Class A misdemeanor.
Also, at real estate closings, several documents may be executed under oath. Several of these have to do with the intent of the buyer to live on the property. Thus perjury could be involved:
(a) As used in this chapter, "exert control over property" means to obtain, take, carry, drive, lead away, conceal, abandon, sell, convey, encumber, or possess property, or to secure, transfer, or extend a right to property.
(b) Under this chapter, a person's control over property of another person is "unauthorized" if it is exerted:
(3) by transferring or encumbering other property while failing to disclose a lien, adverse claim, or other legal impediment to the enjoyment of that other property; (Note: the 21 judgments are liens)
(4) by creating or confirming a false impression in the other person; [or]
(6) by promising performance that the person knows will not be performed;
(c) As used in this chapter, "receiving" means acquiring possession or control of or title to property, or lending on the security of property.
There you go. Now let's finally see some real estate crime prosecuted in Marion County.
IC 35-44-2-1 Perjury (a) A person
(1) makes a false, material statement under oath or affirmation, knowing the statement to be false or not believing it to be true