Maryland builder ordered to refund consumers for houses never built

McDaniels Homes to pay restitution.
McDaniels Homes to pay restitution.

McDaniels Homes, a Maryland homebuilder, has been ordered to pay fines and refund consumers after the company took money for house downpayments, but either never broke ground or completed the houses in some cases, state Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said.

Gansler said his office's Consumer Protection Division has ordered McDaniels Homes of Prince George's County and its owner, Derek A. McDaniels, to pay $448,830 in restitution to consumers, civil penalties of $87,000 and other costs totaling $4,027 for violating the five state laws including its consumer protection rules. The state says the homebuilder allegedly took money from at least 10 families toward new home construction but didn't place that cash in a secure account or have enough of a surety bond to cover the payments. The state also charged that construction on those homes either didn't start or was never completed and none of the consumers were refunded.