NOBLESVILLE, Ind.— A Noblesville contractor is accused of taking homeowners’ money and not doing the work promised.
Mark Sellers, who does primarily concrete and masonry, has mounting civil judgments in court and homeowner complaints to the Indiana Attorney General.
Noblesville homeowner Tina Duncan said she paid Mark Sellers $2,845 last year to fix her foundation.
“He didn’t finish the job,” said Duncan.
The contract with Sellers included $341 for permits, records show.
However, Call 6 Investigates did some checking and found Noblesville does not issue permits for most home repairs.
“No permit was required for this work, and no permit was issued,” said Daniel Sheposh, Noblesville Building Administrator.
Duncan’s home has been a mess since November 3.
“We’re actually paying three contractors to fix his damage,” said Duncan. “I’m not sleeping a lot. I’m frustrated and I’m angry.”
Duncan said she trusted Sellers because another contractor brought him onto the job.
“It’s unbelievable to me,” said Duncan.
Dr. Derek Culnan said Mark Sellers didn’t do the work promised on his Carmel home either.
"He did extensive structural damage to the house to the point that a structural engineer wouldn't walk into the room because he was concerned the house was going to fall on him," said Culnan. “I ended up paying four to five thousand dollars to the subcontractors to make sure they went home to their families with some money.”
Homeowners who felt wronged by Mark Sellers said one of their recourses is to go to court.
Dr. Culnan got a $95,650 judgment against Mark Sellers in Marion County Superior Court.
Call 6 Investigates was in Hamilton County court on March 14 as Bryan Andrews got a $2,100 judgment against Mark Sellers.
“We’ll probably never see that money,” said Andrews.
Sellers never showed up to court.
“Obviously he’s been doing this a long time and there’s a long line of people with judgments and people standing in line to get money from him,” said Andrews. “Fortunately, mine was a small amount of money. There are people who are out tens of thousands of dollars.”
Andrews said he hired Sellers to do a work on a commercial building in Tipton.
Andrews said Sellers was the lowest bidder but didn’t finish the job.
“He left half the roof off the bid, and if you add the rest of the roof back in, he was actually higher than the other contractors,” said Andrews. “I should have done due diligence and gone on the internet and checked the guy’s name. “
Call 6 Investigates found mounting judgments in Indiana against Mark Sellers dating back to at least 2014 totaling more than $118,400.
On April 9, Fishers homeowner Tim Slabaugh received a $7,500 judgment against Sellers in Lawrence Township small claims court.
Slabaugh accused Sellers of not fulfilling the terms of the contract and doing damage to his property.
At least 10 people have filed complaints with the Indiana Attorney General for poor workmanship and failure to complete a contract and Sellers also has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau .
Records show Mark Sellers is accused of bad business practices in Colorado as well.
The Boulder County District Attorney’s office sued Sellers in 2011 for low-balling customers by underbidding construction projects, mispresenting his masonry work on his website , and for using deceptive trade practices.
They obtained a $32,084 judgment against Sellers, but he still has not paid it.
A spokesperson with the Boulder County District Attorney’s office confirmed the Mark Sellers they sued in 2011 has the same date of birth as the Sellers who now lives in Noblesville.
Call 6 Investigates Kara Kenney also shared Sellers’ picture with Colorado homeowner Michael Selafani who confirmed it’s the same man who failed to finish the job seven years ago.
Mark Sellers regularly advertises on Craigslist, but not with his name.
So, Call 6 Investigates set up an appointment in Westfield.
What Sellers didn’t know was he was meeting our producer wearing hidden cameras.
Sellers avoided getting specific about who he is.
PRODUCER: I didn't see your name on the Craigslist ad. What's your company name?
SELLERS: I don't have one. No, I'm just an LLC. Sole proprietor.
The name of the LLC is Mark Sellers Construction LLC.
PRODUCER: Have you ever been sued? Anything I need to be worried about there?
SELLERS: I mean, not rea--…I've been to court yeah. People don't pay me.
Call 6 Investigates Kara Kenney then came out of the house to ask Mark Sellers about his business practices.
KENNEY: There’s a lot of people that say you owe them money. Are you taking people’s money and not doing the work promised?
KENNEY: Tina Duncan, Derek Culnan, Bryan Andrews-- they all want their money back. Are you going to give people their money back sir?
SELLERS: Yeah, through the judgments we will.
KENNEY: But you didn't show up in court. Have you paid any of the judgments?
SELLERS: I’m working on that.
KENNEY: What about Colorado?
SELLERS: Working on that too.
Homeowners hope Mark Sellers will satisfy those judgments.
They’re calling on prosecutors and the Indiana Attorney General to step in.
Homeowner Tina Duncan filed a police report on December 22.
“This particular case was turned over to the prosecutor’s office and charges were declined,” said Noblesville police spokesperson Lt. Bruce Barnes.
The Indiana Attorney General’s office declined to provide an on-camera interview on how it handles contractor complaints.
However, the previous head of consumer protection said the Attorney General’s office looks for patterns of complaints when deciding whether to file a lawsuit against a contractor.
Homeowners believe Mark Sellers has figured out the system to avoid criminal charges.
He currently has a pending drunk driving charge but has not been criminally charged in connection with his business practices.
“He doesn't see any consequences in what he's doing, so something needs to be done," said Bryan Andrews.
Before hiring a contractor, check references and check court records for criminal charges or civil lawsuits.
TIPS FOR HIRING A CONTRACTOR:
- Get estimates in writing
- Check for criminal charges or civil suits here
- Check for a contractor’s license
- Ask for references and call them
- Ask to see examples of their work
- Ask about insurance: personal liability, worker’s comp, and property damage coverage
- Pay wisely, not all up front
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