Homebuilder charged in document forgeries Case involves 3 houses allegedly not inspected

September 10, 1996|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

An Edgewater builder was charged yesterday with forging county inspection documents and selling three uninspected houses in the 7700 block of Dover Road in Pasadena.

Edward David Lakitsky, 41, of the 3300 block of Pocahontas Drive was charged with three counts each of fraud, forgery and county code violations. He was being held yesterday in the Northern District police station. Lakitsky, the owner of Maryland's Best Homes, did not give a statement to police.

Police said the builder of the houses used building permit forms to type occupancy certificates, then gave them to the buyer's title company at settlement. The length of the paper, place of the county seal and place of Chief Building Inspector William Bryant's signature were not consistent with that of a valid occupancy certificate, but it did match that of a building permit, according to lead investigator Steve Dunn.

In one case, police said, false documents were handed in and settlement made on a property the same day it failed final inspection. A settlement was held on another of the houses two days later, and a call never was made for the third to be inspected, police said.

Police said the builder failed to install safety measures such as hand railings next to the stairs, or leave enough space between the deck guards -- vertical bars between the handrail and foot rail on the deck. Inspectors said they are not sure if the decks, which are supported by two pillars but lack trusses, are stable.

Other problems include faulty grading that leaves water standing in backyards, improper spouting, improper sealing for holes punched in walls to allow pipes and wires through, small leaks under sinks and plumbing backups, officials said.

County records show that the plumbers who worked on the project, Maryland State Plumbing and Heating, left the project and did not complete the plumbing work, police said.

The houses, all Cape Cod-style three and four bedroom homes, sold for $124,000 to $132,000.

Police began investigating Lakitsky in late August after William Rawlings III called Planning and Code Enforcement (PACE) complaining that the grading on his driveway was too high.

Building inspectors checked their records and found that his home never passed final inspection, and Rawlings never should have moved in, PACE spokesman John Morris said.

Building inspector Keith Drummond went to the home, where Rawlings showed him a copy of an occupancy certificate his title company received at settlement. The certificate is issued by the county certifying that a house has passed inspection and is safe to be lived in.

Now the owners are wondering what will happen with their homes. The mortgage companies, real estate agents and title companies say they want nothing to do with the situation.

"I just wanted a comfortable, livable home," Rawlings said. "Nobody's there to protect the new homebuyer."

Pub Date: 9/10/96

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