Indiana AG looking to suspend real estate licenses of two fraudulent property managers

Bryan Cohen Jun. 1, 2011, 3:33pm


INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced on Tuesday that he has filed petitions for summary suspension to suspend the real estate licenses of two central Indiana property managers.

The petitions were filed with the Indiana Real Estate Commission on May 16 in an effort to suspend the real estate license of Craig Bartels and Derek Crager, the principal operators of Crager-Bartels LLC.

The petitions allege that Crager and Bartels failed to pay property owners over $13,000 in rent payments that they had collected from tenants. The company, located in Plainfield, Ind., entered into contacts with property owners in several states, including Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina and California, to manage rental properties in southern Indiana.

"By seeking an emergency license suspension we hope to prevent these individuals from continuing to operate as we attempt to resolve the issues stemming from the mismanagement of these rental properties," Zoeller said. "The actions of these two licensed real estate agents harmed both the property owners and the families who are tenants."

The commission will meet Wednesday to determine whether or not to grant the state's request for an immediate 90 day summary suspension of the two licenses.

Zoeller's office said that it received complaints from property owners this year that rent payments collected by Crager and Bartels between December and February for six Indiana properties were not paid to the owners.

Since Zoeller took office in January 2009, there have been 4,257 alleged consumer complaints involving real estate violations in the state of Indiana. Over 500 of the complaints prompted litigation. Zoeller's office has also pursued actions against so-called foreclosure consultants that often demand payments up front before performing services without achieving any beneficial results. Over 60 lawsuits have been filed against foreclosure consultants in the past two years.

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