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Greenleaf defends business after authorities search its offices

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A day after investigators with the Missouri Attorney General's Office served a search warrant at the South Campbell Avenue headquarters of Greenleaf Cos. LLC, company officials defended their business, which remains open, in a prepared statement.

State officials appeared at Greenleaf's office, 3648 S. Campbell Ave., on Tuesday in response to "complaints filed by individuals which were fueled by the recent negative media publicity," according to the statement.

Officials with Greenleaf, sister company to The Real Estate Co., said in the statement that they had repeatedly contacted the Attorney General's office regarding stories recently published by local print and television media outlets, including Springfield Business Journal, about growing disdain among the company's investors and customers.

Scott Holste, a spokesman for the Attorney General's office, confirmed that the agency - along with the FBI and Springfield Police Department - executed the search warrant at Greenleaf's offices. Holste declined to say which agency was leading the investigation.

Greenleaf officials said they are cooperating with state agencies and defended the legality of their business model, which markets investor-owned homes to third-party buyers with damaged credit. Buyers sign a contract for deed, agreeing to make monthly payments to Greenleaf and eventually obtain a conventional loan to purchase the home.

"Greenleaf has been reviewed by many agencies at different times and has always abided by the law at every turn," the company statement read. "All real estate transactions in these offices have been previously reviewed by appropriate state agencies, and Greenleaf Cos. and The Real Estate Co. have been informed by them that all transactions are legal, above-board and acceptable practices."

Company officials said tough economic conditions and nonpaying buyers contributed to its inability to make payments to investors, many of whom are facing foreclosure, ruined credit and bankruptcy, earlier this year. Greenleaf President Scott Dasal previously told SBJ the company was exploring joint real estate ventures in Missouri and other states in hopes of compensating its investors and saving the company from closing down.

"Greenleaf Cos. and The Real Estate Co. are still operating and serving customers," the statement read. "We will weather this storm created by these volatile economic times and negative publicity created by a few."

Greenleaf also thanked its loyal customers, but many of its investors and third-party buyers remain furious about the company's decision to divert revenue away from investors to cover business expenses. Two lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court earlier this month by third-party buyers living in Nixa allege that Greenleaf committed fraud.[[In-content Ad]]

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