Bandit Sign Scandal

BANDIT SIGN SCANDAL NEWS:

This post originally started in August 2012 when I received my first violation from the City of Jacksonville for putting out bandit sign. So first, you’ll read about that and even get some details on how I was found out, and the outcome.  Secondly, this post starts to get very interesting when I have to pick up this story June 4, 2013 when I receive a call from the Division of Real Estate informing me that the city has filed a complaint against me.

I soon discover that the bandit signs that I’m getting in trouble for AREN’T EVEN MINE!! Some creep named Keith Rayne has copied my sign (colors, name, handwriting – but is using his own phone number)! I’m going to keep the details of this scandal (because that’s what it is now) updated so that the entire story is in one spot for you to read, and even come back to for updates.  But this WILL UNFOLD.

August 8, 2012 : What The Hell Is This?

So I think everyone knows that I use bandit signs as one of the primary ways to generate leads. I’ve always made it clear that I would take the risk by putting them out, in hopes that the Code Enforcement office of Jacksonville Florida wouldn’t discover me.  I use a Google Voice Number, answering service, the whole bit.  But guess what?   My luck has run out. 🙁 Boooo

I don’t visit my brokerage office very often.  Especially during the summer when Mallory is out of school. Dan and I like to work from home when she’s here.  We still pop in a few times a week to check the mail, get away for a minute, meet people, etc.  Well lo and behold – guess what was waiting for me in my mailbox?  A certified letter from City of Jacksonville!

Right away, I knew what it was.  My first thought was, “how in the HELL did they find me”?? I didn’t get it and didn’t even open it. I threw it in the trash. In other words, I turned my cheek to it.  About 7 days later, ANOTHER letter in the mailbox.  This time, it said if I purposely avoid picking up a fine from the city, it’s a misdemeanor. That didn’t sound good.

So I called the code enforcement office to see what the damage was.  They told me that they had photos of my bandit signs, read my sign to me, and called out the phone number on the sign.  Then told me that I had a fine for $55.00 waiting for me, and it needed to be paid immediately.  So I asked them to email it to me.

Here’s the actual copy of the bandit signs fine:

bandit signs

There are a few things about this that are super strange.

#1 – the Violation is written to Caywood Realty. That is the name of my Brokerage Firm.  THEY DONT EVEN PUT BANDIT SIGNS OUT.

#2 – the location where the violation is occurred is in the ghetto!!  It is VERY RARE that I put signs out in the ghetto, simply because I prefer NOT to buy houses there. I don’t even know the last time that I put a sign on the corner of Moncrief Rd and Edgewood Av.

Oh well. In some mysterious way, they’ve associated “TRACY BUYS HOUSES” with “CAYWOOD REALTY”.  I have no idea how they even made the relation. It’s baffling.

But I didn’t fight it. I went to the Tax Collector’s office and I paid my $55 Fine.

My opinion on bandit signs NOW: Are they worth the Risk?  HELL YES!! Am I putting signs out right now? HELL NO.  Why not? I don’t like the heat being on me.  I’ll let some of the Junk Car Dudes catch the wrap for a while. Maybe I’ll start the sign campaign back at the beginning of next year.  You can bet your ass my bandit signs won’t say “TRACY BUYS HOUSES”, and they won’t be able to track me down.

August 14, 2012 UPDATE: 

I found out how they hunted me down. We hired a guy to put our signs out for us.  He got into an altercation with a citizen about putting the signs out, and the citizen demanded to know who he worked for.  He told them my name. They looked me up and discovered that I had a Real Estate License.  They called the city and reported me as “Caywood Realty” putting signs out.

June 3, 2013 VIDEO UPDATE:  Another Complaint Has Been Filed!
June 5, 2013: I received the Formal Complaint

The mail came today and the formal complaint was there. It’s a pretty thick envelope. I skimmed over it to see what the “violations” are.  Trust me when I say that it’s bullshit.

bandit signs
June 11, 2013 – Review of the Formal Complaint (Video Time 11:30)

June 14, 2013 – Meet Mr. Keith Rayne

bandit signs
June 19, 2013 – My Written Response to the Division of Real Estate Investigator

I mailed in my written response via Certified Mail to Mr. Krantz, the Investigator.

bandit sign

This is a post I put up on the Property M.O.B. Fan Page in January 2013, when I first noticed this jerk’s signs. The citations were issued in March 2013!!

July 8, 2013 – The City of Jax Emailed the FINAL JUDGMENTS against me

On this day, I received a warm and friendly email from the City of Jacksonville on July 2, 1013 asking me for my mailing address, because they had some return mail for me. I didn’t give her my address-instead asked her to email any correspondence.  She replied with 28 pages of FINAL JUDGMENTS against me for those FUCKING citations!!  OMG I reviewed each one of them, and they’re all for the bandit signs that Keith Rayne posted on telephone poles. Apparently they had a court date in May, which I had no knowledge of because they mailed the papers to the wrong address. And because I didn’t appear in court, the city was awarded with final judgments! Here’s a screenshot of the email exchange between us.

(CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SEE IT LARGER)

Bullshit, RIGHT?  In the meantime, on the same day, I’ve sent this woman 3 emails asking her how to go about setting up a court date to appear in front of the judge to dispute these judgements.  She has failed to reply to my emails.  So I’m going to send her a certified letter today requesting information on how to get a court date.

August 19, 2013 – Letter requesting a Hearing

I sent a certified letter today to Connie Atkins, the “Office of General Counsel” requesting a hearing with the judge.

September 13, 2013 – The Court Date

November 1, 2013 – The Final Court Order

I finally received the final order from the courts in the mail.  It didn’t turn out in my favor.  The court has determined that I DID commit the alleged civil fraction, and that I am to pay a total of $600.00 in fines on or before Dec 13, 2013.  I have had this final order sitting on my desk for a few weeks while I thought about what i was going to do about it.  I’m really upset because this is how our justice system works. They’ve determined that I’m guilty based on circumstantial evidence, and I’m going to pay the price for it.

bandit-sign-laws
bandit-sign-laws

It’s fucked up if you ask me. These aren’t my signs.  And I’m catching the rap for it.  UGH!

November 20, 2013: My Final Decision

I thought about hiring an attorney and fighting it even more, but you know what?  I’m done with it, just tired of putting any more of my energy into it. I’m gonna pay these pieces of shit $600.00 – and I hope that fat piece of shit named Bob Crawford (Code Enforcement of Jacksonville FL) is happy. I think he knows that these bandit signs aren’t mine, but he’s too much of a wimp to speak up.  The world is full of people like him – you know, the ones with no balls.

So I’m going to get a cashiers check tomorrow for $600.00 and mail it in. And then this case will be closed.

If you see signs around Freakville that say KEITH RAYNE buys houses, just remember….if it looks like a duck……

P.S. Leave your comments below and let me know if YOU’VE ever been busted by your local municipalities.  Tell me how much it sucks. Or tell me if you FEAR getting busted.   

People copy other people for a reason. They know some people know what works.

Want to know how to create high converting bandit signs? Check out this article that tells you how to pull in the most leads from bandit sign.

14 thoughts on “Bandit Sign Scandal”

  1. Tracy, That sure sucks.. that is one of the bad things about using your name on a sign. I would go right back to WE BUY HOUSES signs with another number. We use Magic Jack. Good luck

  2. Too Funny. Just so you know, I have a criminal littering charge in Gilbert AZ, but I plead guilty, and paid my fine ( only because mine was nowhere near what you are facing, and I would have fought mine too if I was facing the same amount as you are). Only long term repercussion was that I can no longer renew my RE license online, I have to go in and renew in person every two years. Oh, and I don't use bandit signs anymore either.

  3. yup that's why I use magic jack and google voice number, no name just ' Quick CA$H for Home 888-888-8888" sweet and simple and use one number for two weeks or so then switch up and use the other number for three weeks, then go week or two with no signs , then start up again, and moving to other areas of the metro help also, put out on friday nite pick up on sunday nite, around wally world I leave them out, so far good knock on wood. Some towns I place signs in theres no issue and others they don't have anything better to do then to hassle people, good luck on your future Bandit sign campaign, I,m coming into the time of year in my market where the ground freezes til spring makes it a pain in the ass to put them out, so we just do more direct mail, to expireds etc.

  4. I tend to look at it as a whole……you did place signs and you know you are guilty of doing that but it was just the signs that you were fined for were not yours. $600 is just the cost of doing business. Hold your head high and move on……keep putting signs out and if you get with another $600 fine, I am sure you will have made another $50,000 from them. Most people would exchange $600 for $50,000 (or whatever your profit is. Stay positive – The glass is half FULL – not half empty!

  5. Damn, I wish I'd followed this post last year. I think I could've given you some pointers on what to be prepared for in court.

  6. Do y'all have the code enforcement deptartments robo-calling your numbers? I use GV to block them but still get a loss of about an hour or two. maybe we can get a list of robo-calling numbers and post online for other investors to pre block.

  7. You somehow think your desire to make a profit off desperate sellers outweighs people’s right to enjoy a community free from trash. You’re scum. I have no sympathy for your whiny angst. You deserve all the aggravation you get. I call losers like you (from phony phone numbers) and make phony appointments. The address is deliberately out of the way, maximizing the waste of your time.

    1. Sellers can always say no to any offer that does not meet their needs. You must have sold a property then regretted it. That’s YOUR issue, not the buyer’s! Most smart Investors verify that you are actually the Seller and skip trace the number after confirming the appt and set the appt out far enough to do so.
      Don’t be mad. Get into the business and get on track!

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