Md. home builder must pay $837K

Bryan Cohen Sep. 4, 2012, 1:21pm


BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced a final order on Thursday against an Anne Arundel County-based home builder who allegedly violated multiple state laws.

Gansler's Consumer Protection Division alleges that Antoine Knott violated Maryland's Consumer Protection Act, Custom Home Protection Act and Home Builder Protection Act. The order requires Knott to pay a total of $837,024.16, including $282,841.88 in restitution, $465,000 in penalties, economic damages of $84,833.72 and investigation costs of $4,348.56.

"Buying a home is the biggest investment of your life, so it's important that you're protected before any money changes hands," Gansler said. "All home builders are required to be registered with our office and deposits must be guaranteed by an escrow account, bond or letter of credit."

The division alleges that Knott, who was not registered with the Home Builder Registration Unit, entered into contracts to construct new homes for two consumers in Prince George's and Charles counties. Knott allegedly failed to complete the homes, failed to return the money the consumers paid, failed to provide proper protection for their deposits and payments by placing them in escrow or maintaining a letter of credit or surety bond, failed to pay subcontractors and failed to resolve building code violations.

Under the terms of the order, Knott is barred from acting as a home builder in Maryland unless he meets requirements set by the division to be registered as a home builder under the state's Home Builder Registration Act.

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