The Court of Appeals has ruled against an Augusta businessman whose huge profit in a land deal with the state led to a criminal investigation and the loss of his real estate appraisers license.
The state Attorney Generals office appealed an earlier court decision that had returned Ashby R. Krouse IIIs appraiser certification. In an order released July 14, the Court of Appeals found that the decision to revoke the license was proper. The state didnt need an expert to prove Mr. Krouses conduct in the sale of a 98-acre site along the border of Richmond and Burke counties violated professional standards. The land deal that occurred between 2002 and 2004 resulted in the state Department of Transportation paying Mr. Krouses wife, who is also the daughter of former state Sen. Don Cheeks, $265,850.
Mr. Krouse was initially indicted on felony charges of forgery and making false statements. Last September, he pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to reduced charges, two counts misdemeanor obstruction. He was sentenced to two years probation and fined $1,000 under the First Offenders Act.