Myrtle Beach real estate suit alleges stolen clients, profit

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Two Myrtle Beach authentic estate businesses have sued a third, alleging the latter stole purchasers, data and gains from them. Previously mentioned, residences to be bought are getting manufactured near Back garden Town Seaside. March 07, 2022.

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Two South Carolina authentic estate businesses are at war with a third whose agent they’ve accused of thieving customers, earnings and private actual estate details through secretive, “unauthorized” late-night time workplace visits.

Century 21 Barefoot Realty and its true estate agent Kevin Mills together with Century 21 The Harrelson Group sued Joel Barber and Darcy Varney of eXp Realty previous 7 days, alleging that Barber stole data from the two Myrtle Seashore-dependent Century 21 agencies and used it to take shoppers and, as a end result, profits.

The lawsuit mostly information the alleged actions of Barber, who is accused of moving into Century 21 The Harrelson Team workplaces “unauthorized” 6 moments in between the several hours of 10:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. and accessing “password-protected” company pcs to steal shopper details. The authorized filings say the businesses have evidence of Barber building these trips for the reason that of films taken by The Harrelson Group’s Ring Digital camera Program.

To steal the info, lawful files reported Barber not only snuck into The Harrelson Group’s making soon after hours, he also had to get into a locked place of work belonging to one of the company’s other real estate agents. In a penned affidavit, The Harrelson Team president Greg Harrelson mentioned he thought that happened “without a vital, maybe making use of a credit score card to crack the lock” on the individual office in the building.

Login data for the laptop the data was stolen from also match up with the hrs of Barber’s alleged visits, Harrelson explained in the affidavit. To get into the computers, the lawsuit in opposition to Barber alleges he “hacked” into them in violation of the Laptop Fraud and Abuse Act.

Barber had been performing on a agreement foundation with The Harrelson Group, marketing and listing authorized houses in association with the genuine estate agency, according to his work agreement that was provided in lawful filings. The agreement also states that soon after its termination Barber was not to use any private information and facts or products he attained or uncovered of in the course of his time with the organization. Barber experienced been functioning for The Harrelson Team considering the fact that March 2017.

Barber’s deal was terminated Feb. 7, the very same day the lawsuit claimed he entered Century 21 The Harrelson Team workplaces for the last time.

According to a Myrtle Seaside law enforcement report, Barber was discovered by law enforcement on Century 21’s house the early morning of Feb. 7 soon after Mills told police he believed Barber was there to steal information and facts. Barber denied accomplishing so and as an alternative explained to the officer he was seeking for “ideas to improved improve his ‘team,’” according to the law enforcement report. Afterward, Barber was escorted off the assets by the officer and placed on trespass recognize.

The lawsuit in opposition to Barber states that his target was to just take real estate “prospects and sales opportunities assigned to other brokers” for “his possess personalized benefit” and that of the other defendants, Darcy Varney and eXp Realty, a countrywide serious estate agency.

The lawsuit promises Barber not only took the private actual estate info, which incorporated listings and purchasers Century 21 The Harrelson Group was doing work on, authorized documents allege, but he also deleted real estate listings and client records from the company’s method. Immediately after stealing and deleting the genuine estate documents, Barber contacted consumers belonging to The Harrelson Group and set up listings, allowing him to generate commissions that otherwise would’ve absent to his former employer, legal files say.

Century 21 Barefoot, which shares a making with The Harrelson Group, stated Barber also went into the office of a single of its genuine estate agents without having permission and took private true estate information off of a enterprise computer system. As with The Harrelson Team, login documents present the laptop was accessed throughout several hours matching up with Barber’s alleged visits recorded by the Ring Digicam Technique.

In an affidavit, Mills, of Century 21 Barefoot, said Barber emailed “stolen leads” to an additional competing serious estate agent, Ryan Picthall, whom he experienced allegedly agreed with “to break up income 50/50 fee on any ensuing sale.” A duplicate of an electronic mail from Barber to Picthall that contains true estate qualified prospects was bundled in Mills’ affidavit. Nonetheless, the prospects them selves were being blacked out, so it simply cannot be verified irrespective of whether they were the stolen leads that Mills claims.

Picthall, an staff of The Harrelson Team, did not respond to a phone simply call or e mail requesting remark. He is not a defendant in the lawsuit and was nevertheless outlined on line as an staff of The Harrelson Team as of Wednesday morning.

Mills also stated in his affidavit that Barber “changed or deleted calendar entries” that Mills employed to conduct his company as a actual estate agent.

Following Barber was fired, Harrelson mentioned in his affidavit that he observed Barber listing attributes for sale on line “using info that could only be received from the non-general public database” belonging to The Harrelson Team and using images owned by the organization as perfectly. Mills claimed the similar happened with his actual estate listings.

Century 21 Barefoot, Century 21 The Harrelson Group and Kevin Mills did not react to cellphone phone calls and email messages requesting comment. Barber directed inquiries to his attorney, Greg McCollum.

“This lawsuit is a business enterprise dispute,” McCollum claimed in an email Friday. “We just obtained the lawsuit and are assessing it now. This lawsuit is just 1 facet of the story. Mr. Barber will be filing an respond to and response quickly.”

When questioned about no matter if it was correct Barber had absent into the Century 21 places of work late at night and why, McCollum mentioned in e-mail, “All agents experienced entry to the enterprise at any time.”

The lawsuit towards Barber, nonetheless, states that “Barber, at all instances, understood or ought to have acknowledged that he did not have authorization to entry or enter the office environment setting up in the middle of the night, or quite early hours of the early morning.”

Century 21 The Harrelson Team, Century 21 Barefoot and Mills asked for a short term injunction against Barber, Varney and eXp Realty to prevent them from profiting off of the allegedly stolen authentic estate information and facts.

The 3 plaintiffs have also requested financial violations for a host of accusations from Barber and the other defendants, such as deceptive trade tactics, the stolen consumers, computer system hacking and trespassing.

This tale was initially posted March 9, 2022 10:53 AM.

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Chase Karacostas writes about tourism in Myrtle Seaside and across South Carolina for McClatchy. He graduated from the College of Texas at Austin in 2020 with levels in Journalism and Political Interaction. He started doing work for McClatchy in 2020 right after developing up in Texas, wherever he has bylines in a few of the state’s most significant print media stores as effectively as the Texas Tribune masking point out politics, the environment, housing and the LGBTQ+ group.