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Noblesville contractor appears in court on home improvement fraud charge

Posted: 1:47 PM, May 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-02 00:00:57Z
Mark Sellers in court.JPG

GREENFIELD — A Noblesville contractor who appeared in a Hancock County court Wednesday to face a home improvement fraud charge said he plans to pay his customers back.

Call 6 Investigates first exposed the business practices of Mark Sellers in May 2018 after RTV6 found $110,000 in civil judgments against Sellers in Indiana dating back to 2014.

Sellers is accused of taking money from customers in central Indiana and not finishing the work. Call 6 Investigates met up with Sellers in March 2018 and he said he was working on paying people back.

“Yeah, through the judgments we will,” Sellers said. “I’m working on that.”

However, Sellers' customers say they have not received any money from the contractor.

Following a Call 6 investigation, the Attorney General’s office filed a civil lawsuit against Sellers in July 2018 accusing Sellers of deceptive practices, including taking people’s money and not finishing the job.

READ | State files lawsuit against Noblesville home improvement contractor following Call 6 report

On Feb. 22, Hamilton Superior Court Judge William Hughes granted a preliminary injunction against Sellers that prevents the contractor from soliciting or engaging in consumer transactions without a contract that follows the Indiana Home Improvement Contracts Act.

Call 6 Investigates Kara Kenney asked Sellers a few questions Wednesday at the Hancock County courthouse.

Kenney: Are you still working as a contractor?

Sellers: I work for other companies.

Kenney: Are you going to pay people back?

Sellers: That’s why I’m here. I have to.

Sellers can still do construction work, however, he must complete any contracted work as agreed, according to the injunction.

Lisa Dunkel, a Greenfield homeowner, stopped by court Wednesday to show her support for Hancock County prosecutors who filed a home improvement charge against Sellers.

“Mark Sellers stole my money,” Dunkel said. “He said he was going to build a pole barn, and he didn’t show up. He lied about his address.”

Sellers’ contract with the Dunkels listed his company as Indiana Choice Builders at 111172 Allisonville Road in Fishers.

But that address doesn’t exist, and there is no Indiana Choice Builders registered as a business in Indiana, records show.

The Dunkels paid Sellers a $4,000 deposit on the pole barn, records show.

Prosecutors in Hancock County said Sellers drilled holes and put up poles, but didn’t measure properly, so none of the lumber fit.

Plus, Sellers dug holes that needed to be pumped out because they were full of water, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Court records show Sellers made excuses for not finishing the job, and then asked the Dunkels for an extra $2,500.

The Dunkels contacted Greenfield Police who investigated, and on Jan. 14, Hancock County prosecutors charged Sellers with home improvement fraud, a misdemeanor.

“I hope he can’t do this to anyone else, and that is the purpose of this whole thing,” Dunkel said. “I want prosecutors to know that I support what they’re doing 100% because he doesn’t need to do this to people.”

Selleers faces up to a year behind bars and a $5,000 fine.

“I hope to get my money back, but I want Indiana and Hancock County people to know what he’s all about,” Dunkel said. “He belongs in jail.”

No trial date has been scheduled yet in the Hancock County home improvement fraud case.

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.

Sellers primarily does concrete and masonry work.