GREENFIELD — A Noblesville contractor has provided a $4,000 refund to a Greenfield homeowner, a move that will likely spare him a criminal conviction for home improvement fraud.
Hancock County prosecutors charged Mark Sellers in January 2019 with home improvement fraud, a misdemeanor, after he allegedly took money from Greenfield homeowner Lisa Dunkel to build a pole barn and didn’t finish the job.
Records show Sellers and prosecutors reached an agreement on January 31 to withhold prosecution after Sellers paid Dunkel $4,000 in restitution.
“I am glad to get my money and that people are aware of his nonsense,” Dunkel said in response to the agreement. “I am just glad that he paid it.”
Sellers had faced up to a year behind bars and a $5,000 fine if convicted.
As part of the agreement, Sellers can’t commit a criminal offense for one year.
If Sellers commits any criminal offenses during the one year period, prosecutors can renew prosecution.
RTV6 left a message for Sellers attorney on Monday morning.
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 in 2018. “I’m working on that.”
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.
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 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.
“Mark Sellers stole my money,” Dunkel said in 2019. “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.
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.
“I hope he can’t do this to anyone else, and that is the purpose of this whole thing,” Dunkel said in 2019. “I want prosecutors to know that I support what they’re doing 100% because he doesn’t need to do this to people.”
Sellers primarily does concrete and masonry work.