Former real estate broker Garden sentenced to six years

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A former Indianapolis real estate broker was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday after being found guilty last month of defrauding homeowners and renters on the city’s south side who were having financial difficulties.

David Garden received a 24-year sentence, but 18 years were suspended. He also was ordered to pay restitution to his victims in an amount to be determined later by the court.

Garden was found guilty by a jury April 6 of 11 counts of forgery, 10 counts of theft and one count of corrupt business influence.

He was prosecuted for a real estate scam that involved 14 victims, taking advantage of homeowners facing foreclosure and potential renters. He operated as a real estate agent under several business names, including Star Homes, Inc., Garden Homes Realty, Christian Home Realty, and Five Star Realty.

Garden gained control of the properties under the false pretense of assisting homeowners in obtaining a short-sale of their home, the prosecutor’s office said. Instead, he placed tenants in the properties without the knowledge or consent of the property owners.

In one instance, Garden gained control of a home that was already in the foreclosure process and personally occupied if for about 13 months without making payments to the owners or the mortgage lender, the prosecutor’s office said.

Garden’s real estate license was stripped in April 2014 by the Indiana Real Estate Commission over dozens of rules violations. He was fined $26,000 in civil penalties and ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution and costs.

“Many of the victims in this case were in a dire financial position,” Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said in a written statement. "They were faced with the prospect of losing their home, and they were misled by David Garden that he would help them salvage what they could out of the home’s value. Other victims trusted Garden, who presented himself as a legitimate real estate agent, to find safe rental homes for their families. Instead, Garden took advantage of these victims, leaving them without a home and out thousands of dollars.”
Investigators said several properties he rented to individuals and families were in deplorable condition, including some that were issued vacate orders by the Marion County Superior Court. Despite the order that the properties were to remain vacant, Garden took money from renters knowing that they could never live there.

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One thought on “Former real estate broker Garden sentenced to six years

  1. Just a few words about Dave Garden! I knew Dave Garden many years ago from working for him! It shocked me when I just found out today of his crimes! Guess greed took ahold of him? When I knew him and worked for him many years ago as a contractor and as a regular employee a few years after doing contract work for him, he was really a great guy and would do most anything for anyone if he could! I hope that he finds God again and when he gets out that he finds and lives a good peaceful life! Many of all of us are with out sin of some kind and have never been perfect all of our lives! He and I had just one problem when I worked for him, but a few years later when we met again we shook hands and set that one time problem aside and tossed it out in the street as though it never happened! I hope that all of his victims in his real-estate crimes comes to forgive him and not condemn him for his entire life! I will be very old when he gets out and may never get to see him again? If not then I would like to say good bye old friend! Thank you for all you had done for me! Hope you look me up someday when you get out and get your life back in order! Stay straight and God Bless and be with you always!