RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced a consent judgment Tuesday against coastal real estate developers and marketers who allegedly overvalued lots at two developments in Carteret and Onslow counties.
Cooper's office alleged some of the sales agents of R.A. North Development Inc. and R.A. North Development I LLC marketed lots in Cannonsgate in Carteret County and Summerhouse in Onslow County as good investments. The agents allegedly gave consumers the impression that the lots could be quickly resold for a profit, unfairly led buyers to believe the lots needed to be purchased immediately, advertised developer pricing to make buyers think they were getting a discount when they were not and used flip transactions in which other sales agents simultaneously bought lots and resold them for a significant profit.
"While many real estate opportunities are legitimate and live up to their promises, some take advantage of buyers," Cooper said. "Beware of sales pitches that lead you to believe you're getting a special deal and will be able to make a quick profit."
Also named as defendants in Cooper's complaint were Randy Allen, the manager and controller of R.A. North and R.A. North I, Southeastern Waterfront Marketing Inc., Gary Allen, Southeastern Waterfront's manager, R. Douglas Therrell, Kenneth Bednar and Michael Woolard.
Under the terms of the consent judgment, the defendants must pay $2.28 million in consumer refunds and must cease future deceptive practices.
"Real estate can sometimes be a wise investment, but just like other investments, there's no guarantee it will go up in value," Cooper said. "Before you decide to buy real estate, do your homework."