State settles with Infantino
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 14:30

Deal requires repayment of all Fort Howard deposits

Just before The Eagle went to press on Tuesday, the state attorney general’s office announced that it had reached a settlement with John Infantino and his companies, Ft. Howard Senior Housing Associates, LLC and Federal Development, LLC, resolving allegations that Infantino withheld deposits from prospective tenants after failing to obtain financing for construction of a residential retirement community for military veterans at Fort Howard.
     Infantino planned to build a retirement community for veterans and their spouses called Bayside at Fort Howard on the site of the former Fort Howard VA Medical Center. Construction was scheduled to begin in 2007, with units being offered for lease shortly thereafter, and to be completed by 2012.

Veterans applying for units had to pay a fee of $500 for a single applicant or $750 for a joint application, with a deposit of $1,500 or $2,250 later collected from tenants.
     Infantino and his companies had difficulty moving forward with the project, and after the Department of Veterans Affairs withdrew from the project, it was halted in 2009.
    However, those who had paid deposits had difficulty getting their money back, which the state  alleged was in violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act as well as the Maryland Application Fee Law.
     The settlement requires Infantino and his companies to pay restitution to all Bayside at Fort Howard applicants whose money has not yet been returned. They must also pay the Consumer Protection Division $2,500 in investigative costs and a $10,000 penalty, which may be reduced to $5,000 if all terms of the settlement are met.