State Files Charges Against So. Md. Home Builders - Southern Maryland Headline News

State Files Charges Against So. Md. Home Builders


BALTIMORE (April 18, 2011) — Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection Division’s Home Builder Registration Unit has filed charges against Antoine Knott of Bel Alton, Charles County; and Bayfront Group, Inc. and Shipyard Development, LLC of Mechanicsville, St. Mary's County, and their owners for failing to comply with Maryland’s Home Builder Registration Act, Consumer Protection Act, and Custom Home Protection Act.   The latter are also charged with failing to comply with the New Home Deposits Act.

The Unit filed a statement of charges against Knott alleging the unlicensed builder accepted deposits and payments from consumers in Prince George’s and Charles County and then failed to complete construction of the homes, pay subcontractors, or refund deposits and advance payments made by consumers. A hearing on the statement of charges is scheduled for August 24 at the Office of Administrative Hearings. The Unit is seeking injunctive relief, restitution, damages, and civil penalties against the builder for the alleged violations of the law.

The Unit also filed a statement of charges against Bayfront Group, Inc. and Shipyard Development alleging the builders and their owners, Ronald and Kristine Talton, accepted deposits and payments from consumers in St. Mary's County and then failed to complete construction of the homes, pay subcontractors, or refund deposits and advance payments made by consumers. The charges also allege the companies failed to disclose to the Unit lawsuits filed by consumers and subcontractors concerning the companies' building activities. A hearing on the statement of charges is scheduled for June 24 at the Office of Administrative Hearings. The Unit is seeking injunctive relief, restitution, damages, and civil penalties against the builders for the alleged violations of the law.

“The law in Maryland requires new home builders to be registered in order to operate as a builder in the State and accept consumer deposits and payments,” said Attorney General Gansler in a statement. “My office will seek severe sanctions against builders who operate without being registered or fail to properly handle consumer deposits.”

Consumers who may have had problems with homes built by Knott, Bayfront Group, Inc., Shipyard Development, or other builders are asked to contact the Home Builder Registration Unit at 410-576-6573 or toll free at 877-259-4525. Consumers can also email the Unit at homebuilder(at)oag.state.md.us. Consumers can check to see if a builder is registered by visiting www.oag.state.md.us/homebuilder/ or by contacting the Home Builder Registration Unit.

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