$217M in bad checks; now, a day of reckoning

Eric Tauer built his last brick home more than five years ago, but the aftershocks from his shattered real estate empire are still rippling through the western suburbs of Indianapolis. Full Story
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M Allen

Greenville, IN

#1 Apr 10, 2007
He is another case where the legal authorities don't have the guts to enforce the laws & apply proper penalties. We have a $271M default, clearly planned & promoted only to get another "Lazy" plea bargain, slap on the wrist. When I read the proposed 6-1/2 year expected sentence, I thought it surely should be 61 years.
Think of the grief for the customers, suppliers & sub contractors, lost funds etc. The proposed sentence is an insult to all victims involved
Disgusted

Michigan City, IN

#2 Apr 10, 2007
This man can defraud the banks and all of those innocent people and get a slap on the wrist. If the average person writes several bad checks even the banks will close your account.

A good example that crime does pay if you know all of the right people.
mykidzmom

Mccordsville, IN

#4 Apr 10, 2007
VISIONS BY VAUGHN FROM GREENWOOD DID THE VERY SAME THING TO PEOPLE BUT HIS LAWYER GOT HIM AND HIS WIFE OFF SCOTT FREE
Homer

Chicago, IL

#5 Apr 10, 2007
Steal a little and they'll throw you in jail; steal a lot and they'll make you a king.
Kim Cantrell

Indianapolis, IN

#6 Apr 10, 2007
I would be under the jail!
peace advocate

Thorntown, IN

#7 Apr 10, 2007
this guy must have studied under Bart Petersen, Same tactics, only Bart won't go to jail...
Travis

Lake Villa, IL

#8 Apr 10, 2007
I would like the contact number for First Indiana Bank so I can open up a checking account. I really don't need to worry about going $6 million in overdraft, but I could use part of that total if it takes $6 million to start a red flag. My long time financial institution throws a red flag at $15 overdraft. Please let me know where I can sign up for this excellent checking account.
Just one bullet

Claypool, IN

#9 Apr 10, 2007
One bullet. Have a lottery to see who gets to pull the trigger. There's a lot of people in Hendricks Co. that would line up for the chance.
Judy Babbitt

United States

#12 Apr 10, 2007
Well it seems to me if you scam 271M, someone is going to have to pay that money back. Perhaps you and I? I doubt the banks are going to say we will pick up that tab. Nice guys don't leave everyone else to clean up their mess.
Puzzled

Plainfield, IN

#13 Apr 10, 2007
What happened to the loan officers who kept approving the loans in exchange for gifts? I agree with Travis, I want to have a checking account with a 6 million dollar overdraft line. This scumbag doesn't deserve any consideration or leniency. He knew exactly what he was doing and when he got in over his head, he didn't stop and ask for help, he continued to lie, cheat, and steal. I certainly hope the banks learned a lesson from this.
Jon

Indianapolis, IN

#14 Apr 10, 2007
He needs to be sent to the electric chair for 30 days.

“Global warming is a myth”

Since: Dec 06

I do not have one.

#15 Apr 10, 2007
This guy was in the wrong business, sounds like he needs to run for public office. Indianapolis could use a new mayor.
Owen

Indianapolis, IN

#16 Apr 10, 2007
LIEN WAVERS

Anyone buying a new home should require a copy of the "Lien Wavers". Lien wavers are little contracts signed by the subcontractors when they are paid, as proof of payment and assurance they will not file a construction lien on the property. Title insurance will protect you against prior unpaid mortgages.

People need to protect themselves. Make sure the Lien Wavers are for your home and from all major subcontractors: Foundation, Framers, Roofer, Bricklayer, Concrete Mason, Plumber, Electrician, Heating & AC, Drywallers, Finish Carpenter, Painter, Landscaper.
Jerry

Marion, IN

#18 Apr 10, 2007
I would guess from 35 years in the business that he sold these homes for$50 - 100,000 less than he should have. Do not know this man, but the only way to make money in new homes is to cheat on material, use illegal aliens and charge back subcontractors.
Agreed

Rockford, IL

#19 Apr 10, 2007
Owen wrote:
LIEN WAVERS
Anyone buying a new home should require a copy of the "Lien Wavers". Lien wavers are little contracts signed by the subcontractors when they are paid, as proof of payment and assurance they will not file a construction lien on the property. Title insurance will protect you against prior unpaid mortgages.
People need to protect themselves. Make sure the Lien Wavers are for your home and from all major subcontractors: Foundation, Framers, Roofer, Bricklayer, Concrete Mason, Plumber, Electrician, Heating & AC, Drywallers, Finish Carpenter, Painter, Landscaper.
It's not only Title Insurance that will protect you against prior liens. You MUST purchase an "Owner's Policy" to be protected against prior liens. This - BY LAW - has to be offered on ANY purchase - whether it's a new construction home, or an existing home. If you CHOOSE not to purchase an owner's policy, then the title company/closing agency must provide a "Waiver of Owner's Policy Insurance" for you to sign.(Title Insurance alone only protects the banks/mortgage companies) Just FYI for the many, many people who are ill-informed, and end up in situations just like these poor people did.
john smith

United States

#20 Apr 10, 2007
"lien waivers", they are great things for the general contractor, the bank, the owner, etc. who gets a screwing with a lien waiver is the sub-contractor. he signs away a very important tool in litigation. what most people outside the construction industry don't realize is a little thing called retainage. it is an agreed upon amount between the sub and the general contractor, usually 10% of the contract value. that amount is paid at the end of the project, upon successful completion. on custom homes that can be up to 5 months or more. on commercial construction it can be much, much more longer than that. no lien contracts are tilted towards the folks with the money. the small guy is taking a chance of a screwing everytime he signs one. general contractors are notoriously slow payers. some account payable bills will go 180 days before they are paid. try that with your credit card company or phone company and see what it gets you. if the small subs in the indianapolis area would unite against them, the no-lien contracts would dry up and disappear. it's only fair that everyone gets paid in a timely manner for their efforts.
Interesting

Miami, FL

#21 Apr 10, 2007
I am curious how he is the only one to get in trouble, no way one person was the entire cause of this. Does the bank have no responsibility? Maybe the bank just wanted the $29.95 for each bounced check. Ridiculous reporting by the IndyStar once again.
Usefull Timeline

Miami, FL

#22 Apr 10, 2007
I was always under the impression December 1997 came before February 1988.
Bigger scope

Michigan City, IN

#24 Apr 10, 2007
This guy forged all the documents. A forged lien waiver is no good but who's to know that its forged until after the fact?

As far as title insurance, most buyers were covered by title insurance. Its the banks that took the hits. If it was just homeowners that got screwed, this would never see the light of day. Besides, he had an insider at the title company.

Since: Mar 07

Indianapolis

#25 Apr 10, 2007
Owen wrote:
LIEN WAVERS
Anyone buying a new home should require a copy of the "Lien Wavers". Lien wavers are little contracts signed by the subcontractors when they are paid, as proof of payment and assurance they will not file a construction lien on the property. Title insurance will protect you against prior unpaid mortgages.
People need to protect themselves. Make sure the Lien Wavers are for your home and from all major subcontractors: Foundation, Framers, Roofer, Bricklayer, Concrete Mason, Plumber, Electrician, Heating & AC, Drywallers, Finish Carpenter, Painter, Landscaper.
Building in Indiana is the biggest consumer rip off because there is hardly any protection. EVERY builder should be REQUIRED to provide unconditional lien waivers but they don't have to. I"ve known folks who have built homes with major Indianapolis builders who tell them they CAN'T provide them even after the sales person tells them no problem. Construction defects are commonplace in Indiana and the attorneys have been living high on the hog. Indiana needs a consumer entity with teeth that will shut these con artists down. This will be forgotten and the consumers will continue to pay out oblivious to reality.

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