Absentee Owner Scam

Real Estate Agent with Century21 First Choice Realty

I wanted to make everyone aware of a predator out there targeting absentee owners ( and apparently elderly owners as well)... I have a client who was contacted by a "Todd Teal" wanting to purchase his tract of land here in NC ( He lives in another state).  THe long and the short of it is he writes a sham contract ( open ended closing date, earnest money that never gets deposited) and basically never closes.  When forced with a contract revocation he threatens to place a lis pending and/or a lien on the property, effectively clouding the title.  I have abbreviated this somewhat in the interest of reading, but you can find out more on the Florida Attorney General Website.  THey have over 100+ open cases against him and continue to file more.  He claims residence in Myrtle Beach, and two other overseas countries.  He also goes by "Snuffy Smith" and another name.  I contacted the NC Attorney General and while they had heard of him, he is still under their radar...  Just wanted to make everyone aware.....

Comments (13)

Cynthia Sloop
Community Association Manager - Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Rudy, it always helps to know about items like this one.  Also, WELCOME to Active Rain.  I believe you will like all the people and information that's available here.
Mar 15, 2007 01:07 AM
Rudy Baker
Century21 First Choice Realty - Burlington, NC

Thanks for the welcome.  I am already loving this site and am sending out invitations.


Mar 15, 2007 03:00 AM
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!
Good Grief!  Snuffy Smith????   Snuff said:)    BTW, I like that idea about having a copy of the addendum. Think I may try that. It would save lots of aggravation!...I know I should be commenting on my own blog, but I'm here and I have to go cook dinner.
Mar 16, 2007 12:37 PM
Been There

I bought a lot that Todd Teal clouded in the Pacific NW.

It's interesting to see that this guy is still operating.  He previously used a drop box in Marcos Island FL.

As mentioned here, the FL ATG is pursuing claims in civil court.

Teal had several judgements filed against him from similar activity in Washington State.  I do not know if they have been satisfied.  I also see a similar action in Santa Rosa CA.

Apr 15, 2007 08:27 AM
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

I believe I read something about this person recently.  The Florida Attorney General was going after him.

Sep 22, 2007 11:48 AM
Been There

UPDATE March 11, 2008


Judge William Gary, referring to Todd Teal as a "Scalawag" (what an insult to the real Scalawags of this world) has ordered Todd Teal to pay a whopping $6,400,000 as a result of his dirty dealings in Florida.

Teal was previously found Liable, on Sept 20, 2007, in the civil case originally filed by (now) Gov. Charlie Christ, and prosecuted by the staff of current Florida ATG Bill McCollum.

CONGRATULATIONS and a big THANK YOU to the State of Florida for taking on this Scalawag.

To follow the status of the case as it winds through appeal, follow the link below.


Incidentally, Todd Teal's previous email addresses of:
toddteal@email.net, and toddteal@mail.net are no longer accepting messages, so I say to you Mr. Teal:


Now practice that scream...

Mar 12, 2008 06:04 PM

I have a judgement against him in North Carolina....he got me, but I doubt I will ever collect

May 15, 2008 11:22 PM

Good Grief,  I think I have been scammed by either him, or a cohort.  Offered to purchase my home in Massachusetts, & then said he could get me more being the listing agent.  I signed a listing agreement in the beginning just so he could show it before the closing.  Now he says I signed an agrement for 120 days or more.  Dreams gone up in smoke from this SOB.


Sep 25, 2008 05:28 AM

I am an attorney chasing this guy down.  Please send me info that you have as I am trying to get whatever he has.

Oct 20, 2008 09:15 AM

Please send me copies of what ever you have on Teal.  mark@welwill.com

Oct 20, 2008 09:16 AM

Hey Mark, i met Todd Teal in Singapore in 2005. He was hiring domestic helper. I looked up local phone book directory & found his name listed. +65 65690438 you can ask for Dee, owner of the house. He works for Todd.

Nov 07, 2008 08:52 PM

Found on Florida 1st District Court:


Affirmed - Per Curiam Affirmed


Aug 04, 2009 03:48 AM
A hater of this guy
Thailand Resident Ordered to Pay $6.4 Million in Real Estate Scam


~ Attorney General wins significant damages from 2007 lawsuit ~

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum announced today that a U.S. citizen residing in Thailand has been ordered to pay $6.4 million for running an elaborate real estate scam that prevented landowners from selling their property to anyone but him. Todd Teal, 63, was found to have recorded fraudulent affidavits claiming he had an interest in the property, thereby preventing the owner from selling to anyone else. The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Economic Crimes division.

“Floridians have every right to expect honorable representation from the professionals with whom they do business, and instead the victims in this case were essentially robbed by this individual,” said Attorney General McCollum. “This case should put others on notice that the penalties for such deceptive business practices can be very costly.”

The Attorney General’s lawsuit, filed in June 2005, alleged that Teal used a mail drop box in Marco Island as his "local" address and used the internet to identify land held in Florida, mostly by out-of-state owners. Testimony from victims and witnesses revealed that Teal used deceptive contracts to induce landowners to contract with him. Teal then would refuse to make the deposit required by the contract, but would record a fraudulent affidavit in the public record against the landowner’s property. The affidavits recorded by Teal “clouded” the title to the property so that the landowner did not have a clear title and was prevented from selling to any other buyer.

The testimony revealed that by clouding the property titles, Teal gave himself an unlimited amount of time to arrange for another purchaser to buy the property. If a property owner objected to Teal's tactics, Teal threatened litigation. According to the trial testimony, Teal has bought and sold hundreds of properties, turning more than $2 million in profit. The Court determined that the titles to more than 200 parcels of Florida land were illegally clouded by Teal's actions. Owners also suffered damages from lost opportunities to sell their land as well as legal expenses incurred while trying to clear their titles. McCollum’s investigators discovered that Teal has operated similar scams in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Washington.

The Attorney General’s Office won the case at trial on September 20, 2007. Leon Circuit Court Judge William Gary ruled that Teal's actions violated the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and also constituted slander of title. Earlier, the Judge entered a judgment blocking Teal from using deceptive measures to purchase Florida land and expunging or deleting the fraudulent affidavits from official county records. Describing Teal as a “scalawag,” Judge Gary issued a final judgment today for damages to the landowners, civil penalties and attorney fees and costs in the amount of $6.4 million.
His e mail is toddteal@email.com

Nov 11, 2011 06:17 AM