Investigators: Real estate agent scammed more than 40 clients

David Garden (Photo Provided/IMPD)
David Garden (Photo Provided/IMPD)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – More than 40 people claim a real estate broker scammed them out of thousands of dollars on Indianapolis’s south side.

David Garden was arrested Wednesday. He was charged with 15 counts of theft, 11 counts of forgery, and one count of corrupt business influence, all of which are felonies.

“They were literally in the front yard nearly fighting,” described David Wright.

He lives across the street from Garden’s real estate office and said fighting is the type of scene he often witnessed.

“It was pretty obvious he had a lot of people mad at him,” he said.

At least 40 of Garden’s customers claim his style of business was criminal. The complaints date back more than three years.

“Once we became aware of the volume of it, we began working with the IMPD detectives and obviously led to the charges that have been filed,” said Terry Curry, Marion Co. Prosecutor.

The stories behind the charges include Garden convincing people, who were often struggling to make ends meet, to transfer their property over to him. Investigators said he led them to believe he would short sale the home, but instead, he would rent the property out and pocket the money.

In other cases, Curry said Garden was the legal property owner. However, he would allegedly rent the property out even though it was filled with health code violations. Often times, the health department would deem the house unlivable and evict the renters.

The probable cause also states Garden would forge signatures on transaction documents in order to pocket money.

“We think there’s probably a significant number of other individuals who have been involved in transactions with Mr. Garden,” said Curry.

There are several business names prosecutors say Garden operated under, which include his name, Star Homes, Garden Realty, and Christian Home Realty.

If you believe you’ve done any transactions with any of these names, you’re asked to call the Marion County Prosecutors Good Government Hotline at (317) 327-2700.

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