John O'Brien Apr. 18, 2014, 2:34pm

INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced the permanent revocation on Tuesday of an Indianapolis-area realtor's real estate license after the realtor and his company allegedly misused funds.

The Indiana Real Estate Commission voted unanimously to revoke the license of David Garden and his company Star Homes Inc. The license was previously suspended in January 2013 after Zoeller's office filed a lawsuit alleging Garden failed to remit earnest money, engaged in license renewal fraud and engaged in conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud.

"We believe today's action is in the best interest of the public and sends a strong message to those who may consider taking advantage of consumers," Zoeller said. "Our office will continue to work hard to protect consumers and hold violators accountable."

The board also ordered Garden to pay $15,000 in restitution, $26,000 in civil penalties and additional costs.

Zoeller's office filed a licensing complaint against Garden in 2012 after receiving multiple complaints about Garden and Star Homes Inc. Garden allegedly failed to return refunds on earnest money and security deposits to consumers.

Garden also allegedly renewed his real estate broker's license in 2009 without acknowledging that criminal charges were pending against him. He allegedly renewed his license again in 2011 without acknowledging he pleaded guilty to a charge of operating while intoxicated.

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