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Greenleaf Cos. trials beginning

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The chief operators of Springfield-based Greenleaf Cos. LLC and The Real Estate Co. Inc. are scheduled to face jury trials later this year.

Authorities have been investigating the companies for mortgage fraud since late 2008, and in December 2010, the Missouri attorney general’s office secured a summary judgment barring the sister companies from buying or selling homes and ordering $338,000 in restitution.

Greenleaf and Real Estate Co. operators have since been charged with more than 50 counts of securities fraud and unlawful merchandising practices for their home buying and selling operation.

• William Strong, of Springfield, Greenleaf vice president of finance and daily operations,
waived his right to a jury trial and a bench trial began Feb. 7 with Greene County Circuit Court Judge Calvin Holden presiding. Closing arguments were scheduled to start Feb. 15.

• Eric Gagnepain, of Springfield, Greenleaf co-owner, faces a jury trial scheduled for March 12.

• Misty May Perkins, of Highlandville, Greenleaf director of investor relations, awaits a jury trial scheduled May 21.

• Scott Dasal, of Springfield, president of The Real Estate Co., has a Sept. 10 jury trial.

• Robert Batchman, of Ozark, former real estate broker for The Real Estate Co., faces a jury trial scheduled for March 4, 2013.

Under the scheme, Greenleaf Cos. would typically pay $10,000 to investors with good credit from several states, including Missouri, Colorado, Iowa and Virginia, to take out loans for new homes in southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas and the Kansas City area.

The Real Estate Co. then marketed those residential properties to people with troubled credit histories. Buyers signed contracts for deed and agreed to make monthly payments to Greenleaf to cover principal, interest and insurance payments. In most cases, the consumers agreed to obtain conventional home loans after making three years of payments. However, many people are reported to have lost their homes to foreclosure despite making their payments.

The state charges that Greenleaf solicited investors to purchase homes and, in selling securities related to the purchase of those homes, omitted key facts and made misrepresentations, according to the securities division of the Missouri secretary of state’s office. In addition, the state claims when the companies sought to sell those homes, consumers were not told critical information about the ownership and financing of the homes.[[In-content Ad]]

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