Appraiser's credentials pulled

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A professional disciplinary board has revoked the certification of an Augusta real estate appraiser who is scheduled to go on trial this week.

Ashby Roy Krouse III: Augusta real estate appraiser was reported to have committed fraudulent acts in a real estate deal in 2002, in which his wife ended up with a $240,000 profit on the property's sale.  Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
Ashby Roy Krouse III: Augusta real estate appraiser was reported to have committed fraudulent acts in a real estate deal in 2002, in which his wife ended up with a $240,000 profit on the property's sale.

According to documents obtained by The Augusta Chronicle, the Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board agreed with an administrative law judge's opinion that Ashby Roy Krouse III committed dishonest and fraudulent acts in serving as a conduit for a real estate deal that ended with a $240,000 profit for his wife.

The 2002 land deal -- revealed in an investigation by The Chronicle -- is also the subject of a criminal investigation. Mr. Krouse, 56, was indicted this summer on charges of forgery and making false statements and writings. He has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court and his trial is scheduled for Monday.

The criminal and professional board investigations focused on Mr. Krouse after Chronicle articles that traced the ownership of a 98-acre site on the border of Richmond and Burke counties.

The site was owned by Augusta businessman William Hatcher until he donated it Sept. 5, 2002, to the Hale Foundation, a local charity that assists recovering alcoholics. The same day, the foundation sold the property to Mr. Krouse's wife, Donna, for $25,000.

Two years later, the Georgia Department of Transportation bought the property for $265,850 to preserve extensive natural wetlands to compensate for property being taken over for construction work on U.S. Highway 25.

The land deal took place while Mr. Krouse's father-in-law, then-state Sen. Don Cheeks, was a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, whose oversight capabilities include the state's highways.

Mrs. Krouse and Mr. Cheeks were both called to testify this spring at Mr. Krouse's hearing before Administrative Law Judge Ana Kennedy.

After hearing from all the witnesses at that hearing, the judge found Mr. Krouse was negligent or incompetent in preparing the appraisal for Mr. Hatcher. And in consideration of the timing of the events, the judge wrote, it is more likely than not that Mr. Krouse had already considered the possibility of his wife's purchase of the property, a fact that should have been disclosed.

The recent professional sanction isn't the first time Mr. Krouse had been punished for not disclosing personal interest in a real estate transaction between others.

Mr. Krouse was reprimanded and fined $5,000 by the Georgia Real Estate Commission in February 1999, according to commission documents.

In May 1995, J. Douglas Herman asked Mr. Krouse to help him find a commercial property to purchase. Mr. Krouse sold him property on Berckmans Road for $250,000 on July 30, 1995.

Earlier that day, Mr. Krouse bought the same property for $200,000.

According to the consent order Mr. Krouse signed, he didn't tell either side of the transaction of his personal involvement as a buyer and seller. He also handled the transaction while his broker's license had lapsed, according to the Real Estate Commission documents.

Staff writer Sylvia Cooper contributed to this article.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

WHAT HAPPENED

BACKGROUND: The Augusta Chronicle reported in 2005 on Ashby and Donna Krouse's ability to turn a $240,000 profit on a $25,000 tract by selling it to the state two years later.


DEVELOPMENTS:


- The state attorney general's office began its own investigation in January 2005.


- Mr. Krouse, the son-in-law of former Sen. Don Cheeks, is accused of felony charges punishable by a total maximum sentence of 25 years.


- The Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board has revoked Mr. Krouse's certification.


WHAT'S NEXT:

Mr. Krouse is scheduled to go on trial Monday. He has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court.

Comments (30) Add comment
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1313
99
Points
1313 12/09/07 - 06:24 am
0
0
No other appraiser in town

No other appraiser in town would have been able to keep his or her license after the 1995 incident. I think we all know how he kept his.

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 12/09/07 - 07:38 am
0
0
THis guy is just a sleazy

THis guy is just a sleazy freakin crook.......

deekster
24
Points
deekster 12/09/07 - 08:58 am
0
0
This should have been under

This should have been under the article "Sharing the Greed".

getalife
4
Points
getalife 12/09/07 - 09:39 am
0
0
It seems to me there are more

It seems to me there are more crooks involved in this deal. The county appraiser that lowered the appraisal, the person with DOT that approved purchasing the land and the person that helped link this man with the DOT. Krouse's certification should have been pulled on the earlier deal, where he made $50,000.00 and was only fined $5,000.00. Quite a profit on both deals. He is a crook!!

gcap
290
Points
gcap 12/09/07 - 01:00 pm
0
0
Remember folks, this is

Remember folks, this is Augusta. There was a politician in the mix. All the money came from a close, tight circle. My guess is Mr. Krouse stepped on some major newspaper-related toes and is now paying the price.

Curlie56
9
Points
Curlie56 12/09/07 - 02:41 pm
0
0
What happens with Andy

What happens with Andy Cheeks? You are right, this is Augusta, GA. You can be as crooked as you want to be as long as you don't step on the wrong feet during some type of deal. Once that is done, all hell will break loose on you and your previous dealings, with possible jail time....remember Charles Walker? If he had done this deal, a $5,000.00 fine would not have been considered! All of these players should go to jail! If they investigate, they will find this is common in real estate....as if I have to make them aware of that.

1313
99
Points
1313 12/09/07 - 06:09 pm
0
0
Re: 1995 incident. Pull up

Re: 1995 incident. Pull up the Ga. Real Estate Appraisers website and see what they do to appraisers that are not "connected". Failure to pay child support, not paying a student loan, failure to "report" a conviction etc. ect.- license out the window. Screw either the seller or the buyer or both out of $50,000 and they tell you to pay a fine of 10% of the "profit" off the swindle and have a nice day.

biggdawgmoneyclip
0
Points
biggdawgmoneyclip 12/09/07 - 08:54 pm
0
0
I'm pretty sure this is

I'm pretty sure this is common in Augusta and throughout the country.

gcap
290
Points
gcap 12/09/07 - 09:36 pm
0
0
biggdawg...You're probably

biggdawg...You're probably right. But my money says that what happens in Augusta makes the rest of the country look like a bunch of amateurs.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 12/09/07 - 11:52 pm
0
0
The only thing I see wrong in

The only thing I see wrong in this is that he is supposed to have forged Mr. Hatchers name on some papers. If the original appraisal for 25000.00 was right then what is wrong with a big profit if someone makes you an offer. I had a home I bought for 178000.00 and kept several years. I had it appraised and the appraiser said if I received an offer for somewhere in the 225000.00 range to accept it. I put in on the market for 319000.00 and sold it the next day. Should I have told the buyer to back down to 225000.00. I think not. An offer was made and I took it. The Augusta Country Club had been trying to buy a piece of property on Milledge Rd for parking and was in the process of agreeing on a price when someone paid the price of 265000.00 and then put it right back on the market for 325000.00. They told the club if they did not buy it he would build a house. They bought it the next day for 310000.00-45000.00 profit in one day. It was legal. Not ethical but legal.

moneyman1035
0
Points
moneyman1035 12/10/07 - 08:23 am
0
0
Pretty Red it he is the son

Pretty Red it he is the son in law of Don Cheeks, not Andy Cheeks

Tall1
1
Points
Tall1 12/10/07 - 08:38 am
0
0
Appraisers are squeaky clean

Appraisers are squeaky clean when compared with the sordid ethics of the Augusta area home inspection companies. Never let the realtor provide your inspector.

biggdawgmoneyclip
0
Points
biggdawgmoneyclip 12/10/07 - 08:42 am
0
0
Tall1--spill it--gives us the

Tall1--spill it--gives us the scoop on the local home inspection companies?

Tall1
1
Points
Tall1 12/10/07 - 09:21 am
0
0
I already did: never let the

I already did: never let the realtor provide your inspector.

biggdawgmoneyclip
0
Points
biggdawgmoneyclip 12/10/07 - 09:26 am
0
0
What are the initials of the

What are the initials of the suspect inspector?

critter
2
Points
critter 12/10/07 - 09:44 am
0
0
Isn't this the same thing

Isn't this the same thing that Strom Thurmond did back in the day? Bought swampland cheap, sat on the transportation committee that picked where I-20 ran, sold land to gov't at ungodly markup?

biggdawgmoneyclip
0
Points
biggdawgmoneyclip 12/10/07 - 09:58 am
0
0
I thought that was Carl

I thought that was Carl Sanders.

critter
2
Points
critter 12/10/07 - 11:06 am
0
0
I've always heard it was good

I've always heard it was good 'ole Strom in Aiken County. One of those repeatedly whispered things, along the lines of yeah, he's a segregationist, but he does have a mixed-race daughter....

Ben There
56
Points
Ben There 12/10/07 - 11:25 am
0
0
Interesting how Don Cheeks

Interesting how Don Cheeks escaped criminal charges, seeing how he was the one that supplied the detailed information so he could set his daughter up for the windfall. Not exactly an arms length transaction here!

junebug
0
Points
junebug 12/10/07 - 11:27 am
0
0
Why isn't Don Cheeks facing

Why isn't Don Cheeks facing charges also?

dani
12
Points
dani 12/10/07 - 11:40 am
0
0
I would love to see the

I would love to see the financial statements of these people before they were elected to office compared to their worth after leaving office. It would be a shocker...
And we wonder why someone would run for political office for such a low salary!...........How did Strom get in on this forum?

critter
2
Points
critter 12/10/07 - 11:53 am
0
0
That would be my fault - I

That would be my fault - I thought Strom had done something similar to this many moons ago, or at least I've always heard that he did. Can't find any evidence, though, so that could be entirely unsubstantiated rumor.

aw8ngjustice
22
Points
aw8ngjustice 12/10/07 - 12:32 pm
0
0
I know a realtor who I

I know a realtor who I thought was honest. But she called the police and told a lie on me. She's as crooked as her crackhead son and daughter-in-law. I think she smokes crack too.

jshep67
0
Points
jshep67 12/10/07 - 01:31 pm
0
0
gcap.., I've been on the

gcap.., I've been on the internet today.., research.., you still wanna' bet MONEY on who makes who look like an amateur? How much money are we talking about here?

justus4
111
Points
justus4 12/10/07 - 01:34 pm
0
0
This example demonstrate why
Unpublished

This example demonstrate why blacks can not trust any judicial system thats operated by whites. They take care of their own, with lies, obstruction, destroying documents, bribery and any illegal tactic known to man. Others involved in this case deserve prosecution but will escape due to a wicked, corrupted system thats an abject failure for America. The erosion continues...

peanut
0
Points
peanut 12/10/07 - 01:37 pm
0
0
I am a realtor, When a client

I am a realtor, When a client doesn't already have a home inspection company, then I give them 3 reputable choices or they can research and choose their own. This is what we are supposed to do. We are not supposed to steer them to anyone in particular from what I understand. This also goes for referring lenders and attorneys.

jshep67
0
Points
jshep67 12/10/07 - 04:15 pm
0
0
justus4.., remind me.., what

justus4.., remind me.., what COLOR was the gentleman who was found with 90K in his freezer.., you know, the guy who comandeered a NATIONAL FREAKIN GUARD vehicle to get him to his house so he could retrieve it? Well, I'll remind YOU instead: William Jefferson's 16 federal charges of corruption accusing him of using his political office to bribe businessmen and influence foreign officials..., wasn't THAT guy BLACK? And what about Charles Walker shaking down Grady Memorial? Isn't HE BLACK? Dude.., YOU are RACIST. ANYONE can be one, you know.

Tall1
1
Points
Tall1 12/10/07 - 04:39 pm
0
0
Peanut: as a member of the

Peanut: as a member of the NHAI, I learned that a "honest and fair" realtor should never even give the appearance of endorsement to a home inspector. They should encourage the client to obtain independent inspection and pay for same. Less than .01% of realtors do this. It's not just realtors fault, blame the customer and the inspectors alike. Inspectors should NEVER make a buy/don't buy recommendation, but they do. Customers should DEMAND detailed reports, including photographs, but they don't. Realtors and loan companies aren't to fold cost into loans, but they do.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 12/10/07 - 10:42 pm
0
0
Tall1, sometimes if the don't

Tall1, sometimes if the don't the customer can not buy the house. The buyer is responsible for the home inspection and is advised to aquire one. If they do not want one then they have to sign off on a purchase as is statement and that they did not want an inspection. I am not sure but I think if the seller has an inspection done before the home is put on the market they are not required to give the inspection or any appraisal to the potential buyer.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 12/10/07 - 10:53 pm
0
0
critter and biggdog, I have

critter and biggdog, I have always heard that it was Gov. Carl Sanders, Judge Pierce when he was city attorney and J. B. Fuqua who bought up all the interchange land.

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