He rode around selling houses in a Bentley once owned by Mike Tyson and a pimped out golf cart. The Mike Tyson car is so fitting. A piece from the article:
"In a cobalt blue Bentley that he bragged once belonged to boxer Mike Tyson, Marty Donovan looked the part of a superstar real estate agent.
And he was. The Chicago native racked up dozens of home sales between 2004 and 2007, most in a single neighborhood, Clearwater's Island Estates. His $40-million in annual sales placed him at the top of heap.
"I was living in la-la land in Island Estates," Donovan says now. "I even did tours in a pimped-out golf cart. People loved it. It was island living."
Island living isn't so sweet anymore. And a lot of residents single out Donovan's business dealings for ruining their neighborhood.
Of the 36 houses in some stage of foreclosure in Island Estates, at least a quarter were owned, listed or handled by the 44-year-old Realtor"
So how did this piece of slime run up prices:
"When critics describe Donovan's prominent role in inflating property values — and abetting their subsequent collapse — they point to the Realtor's unusual shopping spree in the spring and summer of 2006.
A typical purchase was the house at 213 Leeward Island. Listed for $998,000 by an investor who'd bought it two years earlier for $530,000,
Donovan bought the 50-year-old, 1,900-square-foot house for the recorded price of $1.3-million.
The owner got his $998,000. Almost all the rest of the loan money was kicked back to Donovan's business partners, allegedly to make repairs on the house.
But within less than a year, Donovan stopped making monthly payments. Promised renovations never materialized and no one can account for the money supposedly borrowed for that purpose."
What a scumbag. This guy pulled this scam several times on the island. He offered 30% over list for a house promising renovations to simply drive up prices. Guys like this should be thrown in jail. Its amazing to me how greed can make someone so evil and stupid at the same time.
So what did this same house sell for this year after superstar Marty got foreclosed on?
"M&T Bank foreclosed and marked down the house for quick sale this year. The sale price: $451,000."
And how did the rest of his buying spree work out for him?:
An agent with Joanne Hiller & Associates, Donovan left town in December, after the banks initiated foreclosure against all six of his remaining properties, valued at more than $7-million. He's living in Lynchburg, Va., to "clear my head a little bit."
At least his shady purchases caught up with him and justice prevailed. The sad thing is he destroyed many lives in the process:
"Benchmarks set by his sales and purchases inflated residents' property tax bills and polluted real estate data. People confident they were sitting on $1.3-million houses have learned the homes are worth half as much.
Island Estates has been ranked the second worst of 290 neighborhoods inTampa Bay for home devaluation. Sale prices on the island averaged $1.25-million two years ago. Among homes under contract this month, the average price is just $670,000. Many residents blame real estate agent Marty Donovan."
When you do eventually decide to buy a house. Try to use someone that your family knows or comes recommended by a close friend. There are Marty's everywhere. I bet Marty now drives a Ford Focus instead of a Bentley. I hope he learned that being greedy and a scumbag is not the right way to go through life.