Industry News

Real estate agents scammed more than $30 million

HUD settles land development lawsuit

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A federal judge in Norfolk, Va., this week ruled that three real estate sales agents working for a Virginia-based land developer participated in an elaborate land scam that fleeced about $30 million from more than 1,300 people across the country. Operating under the name Buyers Source, the company and its agents victimized more than 500 senior citizens, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In four cases, the developers targeted people more than 100 years old. Jeffrey Votaw of Bridgeport, W.V.; George Haydu of Clarkesville, Ga.; and Dawn Mock of Norfolk, Va., are barred from engaging in fraudulent trade practices and were ordered to pay more than $500,000. The court also ordered Buyers Source and five other sales agents to pay more than $31 million into the compensation fund. Following the ruling, HUD announced settlements with six other individuals who owned and operated Buyers Source. Under the terms of these agreements, the owners will pay up to $1 mill...