A federal judge is standing by his earlier decision that a group of real estate representatives who went rogue and tried to sell against The Villages owes their former boss $603,700 in attorneys’ fees.
U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr. announced his decision on Friday in the lawsuit in which Properties of The Villages Inc. prevailed over salesmen Christopher Day and Jason Kranz, who formed KD Premier Realty with the hopes of altering the real estate sales landscape in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
Day and Kranz and their associates had claimed they were entitled to attorneys’ fees because they believed “they prevailed on significant issues in connection with the breach of contract claims.” The judge denied that argument.
Day, Kranz and their associates argued during a five-day trial earlier this year in federal court in Tampa their independent contract agreements with The Villages were not valid for several reasons, including that they were treated more like employees than independent contractors.
Day and Kranz sent bombshell emails to the entire Properties of The Villages sales force on Dec. 16, 2019 announcing their abrupt departure. When Vice President of Sales Jennifer Parr took the witness stand during the trial, she admitted she had been caught off guard by the sudden exit of two of her top salesmen, both of whom were earning in the neighborhood of $500,000 per year, according to their own testimony.
Day and Kranz admitted they had taken customer lists and other information when they left Properties of The Villages, but both downplayed it and said what they took was out of date and not valuable.
The judge has barred Day, Kranz and their associates from real estate transactions in The Villages for 18 months.
Kranz has moved his real estate venture to the Bradenton/Sarasota area. He announced on his website that he has moved his family to Lakewood Ranch, a community that bumped The Villages from the No. 1 ranking as the nation’s top selling master planned community.
During the trial, it was revealed that Day had created an alter ego he referred to as “The Sellinator.” He was writing a motivational book which he narrated as “The Sellinator.” His http://thesellinator.com/ website is now offline.