ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Prosecutors say investigations in multiple counties continue into the business practices of the former president of Albany's Home Builders Association. 55-year-old Jack Daniel Garrett is indicted on four charges of residential mortgage fraud and false swearing.
Garrett was a very well known builder and business owner for a decade, but bench warrants have been issued for his arrest.
Jack Daniel Garrett's indictment says he misled mortgage lenders on affidavits that labor, services, and materials for construction had been paid in full. Instead prosecutors say he was using money from one job to pay off debts on others. And that both lending organizations and home owners were victims.
"A cycle. As long as the money is being paid to one person, from another source, it is sort of a Ponzi scheme concept, when we are talking about these particular charges," Dougherty D.A. Greg Edwards said.
The indictment says Garrett in 2012 filed false statements and defrauded loans on property on Nectar Lane and Spurlock Drive in Dougherty County. The current Home Builders Association President says Garrett was well liked, but left the association almost two years ago.
"He has not been associated with the Home Builders for well over a year now. I think once his business started having some issues, he backed out," said Andy Cooper, Home Builders Association President.
Cooper said the recession forced many builders into bankruptcy. "Sometimes these builders they get going, they can go two or three years robbing Peter to pay Paul. Somebody at the end of the games going to get in trouble."
Cooper recommends people building homes double check references, and demand to see proof contractors have state licenses. "And they carry the proper insurance. Liability insurance and workmans' comp. And ask for a certificate," Cooper said.
A bench warrant has been issued for Garrett, but he has not been arrested or turned himself in yet. Prosecutors say he could face up to five years on each count.
We contacted members of Garrett's family, to comment on the charges. He has not returned our calls.