In Boston, Massachusetts, the Boston Business Journal
- A Foxborough real estate developer who fell on hard times after the economic downturn has been sued for allegedly taking — and then refusing to return — more than $200,000 in down payments for new homes in Sharon that were never provided, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley.
The AG's office has obtained a restraining order in Suffolk Superior Court against Michael Intoccia and his companies including Bella Estates Realty Trust, MTI Realty and Intoccia Builders Corp., prohibiting them from accepting future deposits for new homes unless the deposits are put into escrow.
The order also freezes assets enough to pay a possible court judgment, and requires the defendants to disclose records that might reveal the existence of other consumers who paid deposits but never received a new home.
The lawsuit seeks more than $200,000 in restitution for five homebuyers who paid for single-family homes in the Bella Estates development in Sharon. Coakley’s office is also seeking statutory penalties and a further injunction preventing the defendants from taking unsecured deposits.
Intoccia operates a development business in Norfolk County through a network of companies that were involved in the planning, marketing, and construction of the Bella Estates development that was to consist of 29 single-family house lots, according to the complaint. The defendants allegedly solicited buyers and took deposits of up to $55,300 per residence, Coakley said.
- According to the AG's complaint, Intoccia and his companies also allegedly made false promises to promptly build homes when they knew that construction was prevented by permitting issues, and in some cases took multiple deposits for the same lot. Homebuyers suffered additional expenses for moving, temporary housing, appliances and fixtures for houses that were never built.
The defendants allegedly held consumers’ deposits long after the final deadlines for closing passed and in some cases more than two years after the deposit was paid. The complaint alleges that the defendants allowed many lots in Bella Estates to fall into foreclosure.