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Real estate 'flim-flam man' sentenced to prison

Posted at 4:55 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 22:05:13-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- A property manager accused of theft and forgery is behind bars following a long-standing Call 6 Investigation.

Call 6 has exposed the business practices of David Garden for the past four years.

On Wednesday, a judge called Garden a trickster, a swindler and a "flim-flam man."

A Call 6 Investigation that began in 2012 showed how Garden would sell or rent homes that were in deplorable conditions, or that he did not own.

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In 2014, Garden lost his real estate license.

Brian Sherrill, one of Garden's victims, found some solace in Wednesday's sentencing.

"He knew what he did," Sherrill said. "He is a predator."

Garden was sentenced Wednesday to 24 years in prison with 18 suspended. He was found guilty in April to 22 counts, including corrupt business influence, forgery and theft.

Garden will also have to pay unspecified restitution to his victims.

“Many of the victims in this case were in a dire financial position. They were faced with the prospect of losing their home, and they were misled by David Garden that he would help them salvage what they could out of the home’s value. Other victims trusted Garden, who presented himself as a legitimate real estate agent, to find safe rental homes for their families,” Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said. “Instead, Garden took advantage of these victims, leaving them without a home and out thousands of dollars.”

Curry said Garden targeted homeowners facing severe financial difficulties or imminent foreclosure action.