Myrtle Beach real estate suit alleges stolen clients, profit

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Two Myrtle Seashore serious estate companies have sued a third, alleging the latter stole consumers, details and income from them. Above, households to be sold are staying constructed near Back garden City Seashore. March 07, 2022.

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Two South Carolina real estate businesses are at war with a 3rd whose agent they’ve accused of thieving clientele, revenue and personal real estate data for the duration of secretive, “unauthorized” late-night office environment visits.

Century 21 Barefoot Realty and its real estate agent Kevin Mills together with Century 21 The Harrelson Group sued Joel Barber and Darcy Varney of eXp Realty final 7 days, alleging that Barber stole facts from the two Myrtle Beach-dependent Century 21 companies and made use of it to acquire consumers and, as a consequence, earnings.

The lawsuit mostly facts the alleged steps of Barber, who is accused of coming into Century 21 The Harrelson Team workplaces “unauthorized” 6 moments among the hrs of 10:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. and accessing “password-protected” corporation pcs to steal customer details. The lawful filings say the companies have proof of Barber earning these outings due to the fact of films taken by The Harrelson Group’s Ring Camera Process.

To steal the knowledge, authorized paperwork mentioned Barber not only snuck into The Harrelson Group’s constructing following several hours, he also had to get into a locked office belonging to 1 of the company’s other genuine estate agents. In a composed affidavit, The Harrelson Group president Greg Harrelson said he believed that occurred “without a vital, perhaps using a credit history card to split the lock” on the specific office environment inside of the creating.

Login information for the laptop the facts was stolen from also match up with the hrs of Barber’s alleged visits, Harrelson mentioned in the affidavit. To get into the computer systems, the lawsuit towards Barber alleges he “hacked” into them in violation of the Laptop or computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Barber had been operating on a deal foundation with The Harrelson Group, promoting and listing accepted properties in affiliation with the serious estate company, according to his employment deal that was integrated in authorized filings. The deal also states that right after its termination Barber was not to use any personal information and facts or materials he obtained or discovered of all through his time with the business. Barber had been functioning for The Harrelson Team considering the fact that March 2017.

Barber’s agreement was terminated Feb. 7, the exact same day the lawsuit explained he entered Century 21 The Harrelson Group offices for the past time.

According to a Myrtle Seashore police report, Barber was uncovered by law enforcement on Century 21’s house the early morning of Feb. 7 after Mills advised law enforcement he believed Barber was there to steal details. Barber denied undertaking so and as an alternative instructed the officer he was seeking for “ideas to greater increase his ‘team,’” in accordance to the law enforcement report. Afterward, Barber was escorted off the home by the officer and positioned on trespass detect.

The lawsuit in opposition to Barber states that his objective was to choose serious estate “prospects and prospects assigned to other brokers” for “his individual personalized benefit” and that of the other defendants, Darcy Varney and eXp Realty, a nationwide true estate company.

The lawsuit claims Barber not only took the private real estate facts, which included listings and purchasers Century 21 The Harrelson Group was functioning on, lawful paperwork allege, but he also deleted authentic estate listings and client records from the company’s process. Soon after thieving and deleting the genuine estate data, Barber contacted consumers belonging to The Harrelson Group and established up listings, enabling him to receive commissions that in any other case would’ve long gone to his previous employer, legal paperwork say.

Century 21 Barefoot, which shares a constructing with The Harrelson Group, explained Barber also went into the office environment of a single of its authentic estate brokers devoid of permission and took non-public authentic estate records off of a firm pc. As with The Harrelson Group, login data demonstrate the computer was accessed for the duration of hours matching up with Barber’s alleged visits recorded by the Ring Digital camera Program.

In an affidavit, Mills, of Century 21 Barefoot, reported Barber emailed “stolen leads” to yet another competing true estate agent, Ryan Picthall, whom he experienced allegedly agreed with “to split revenue 50/50 commission on any ensuing sale.” A copy of an electronic mail from Barber to Picthall that contains true estate qualified prospects was integrated in Mills’ affidavit. Having said that, the prospects themselves ended up blacked out, so it can’t be verified irrespective of whether they have been the stolen prospects that Mills statements.

Picthall, an worker of The Harrelson Team, did not respond to a cellular phone connect with or electronic mail requesting remark. He is not a defendant in the lawsuit and was however shown online as an staff of The Harrelson Group as of Wednesday morning.

Mills also said in his affidavit that Barber “changed or deleted calendar entries” that Mills applied to conduct his business as a genuine estate agent.

Soon after Barber was fired, Harrelson said in his affidavit that he observed Barber listing houses for sale online “using details that could only be acquired from the non-general public database” belonging to The Harrelson Group and using images owned by the corporation as perfectly. Mills claimed the very same occurred with his authentic estate listings.

Century 21 Barefoot, Century 21 The Harrelson Group and Kevin Mills did not respond to phone phone calls and e-mails requesting remark. Barber directed inquiries to his attorney, Greg McCollum.

“This lawsuit is a company dispute,” McCollum reported in an email Friday. “We just gained the lawsuit and are evaluating it now. This lawsuit is just a single aspect of the tale. Mr. Barber will be filing an answer and reaction shortly.”

When asked about no matter whether it was true Barber experienced long gone into the Century 21 workplaces late at evening and why, McCollum claimed in e mail, “All brokers experienced entry to the business enterprise at any time.”

The lawsuit towards Barber, nonetheless, states that “Barber, at all moments, realized or should have known that he did not have authorization to access or enter the workplace setting up in the center of the night time, or extremely early hours of the morning.”

Century 21 The Harrelson Group, Century 21 Barefoot and Mills requested a momentary injunction against Barber, Varney and eXp Realty to stop them from profiting off of the allegedly stolen genuine estate info.

The 3 plaintiffs have also requested monetary violations for a host of accusations versus Barber and the other defendants, like misleading trade procedures, the stolen shoppers, laptop hacking and trespassing.

This tale was at first published March 9, 2022 10:53 AM.

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Chase Karacostas writes about tourism in Myrtle Beach front and across South Carolina for McClatchy. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020 with levels in Journalism and Political Interaction. He commenced operating for McClatchy in 2020 soon after rising up in Texas, the place he has bylines in a few of the state’s biggest print media shops as nicely as the Texas Tribune masking condition politics, the natural environment, housing and the LGBTQ+ local community.