New Jersey builder’s dream turns into a house of cards | Builder Magazine

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Scott Forbes, a builder in New Jersey’s Bergen County, has suffered some setbacks as a result of the real estate market collapse, and some of his investors and creditors aren’t too happy:

It’s not just investors who say they are owed money. Forbes’ bankruptcy filings also cite hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to subcontractors, including a painter, a plumber and an electrician. In his initial bankruptcy filing in July 2009, Forbes listed assets of up to $50,000, but liabilities ranging from $10 million to $50 million.

In 2008, some people who received checks from Forbes went to the authorities, including Glen Rock Lumber and the Inganamorts, whose $100,000 check bounced.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office charged Forbes with three counts of issuing a bad check and a fourth count of theft by deception.

At a June 16 hearing, Forbes pleaded guilty to one count of issuing a bad check, an indictable offense that carries a maximum prison term of five years. But Forbes, a first-time offender, entered a pretrial intervention program.

Under an agreement with Brian Lynch, head of the prosecutor’s white-collar crime unit, Forbes agreed to pay more than $240,000 in restitution within 60 days…

Forbes has started a new venture, Forbes Custom Homes, which builds homes to order. He’s working on three construction projects this summer, and says he has three more lined up in the fall.

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