Family says business broker won't return money for failed deal

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A Gwinnett County family says their business broker took thousands of dollars and then disappeared.
“We went to the place where his business was, his door was locked , cobwebs was growing on the door itself,” Anuj Patel told Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman.
In the summer of 2012, the Patel family said they used business broker Eugene Dubnik to help them purchase a small business, a gas station, which they said included real estate.
The two parties could not agree to the terms, and the Patels said, according to their contract, which they provided to Channel 2 Action news, Dubnik was required to refund them their $5,000 escrow check, which they wrote to Dubnik’s business, Northlake Business Brokers.
“He cashed the check it is not in our account anymore, and it is just gone,” Patel said.
Since then, the family said they’ve sent a number of certified letters to Dubnik asking for their money, filed a small claim in Fulton County magistrate court, and filed a claim with their bank. 
“He stopped returning our phone calls,” Patel said.
According to records from the Georgia Real Estate Commission, Dubnik surrendered his real estate license in 2011 after the state initiated an investigation.
According to the records, the license was revoked prohibiting him from participating in real estate transactions.  Neighbors at the Dubnik’s Tucker office park said they haven’t seen anyone in his office for years. Channel 2 Action News tracked Dubnik down at his Roswell home.
“Let me ask you this, if this business was dissolved in 2011, why did you have them (the Patels) make a check out to it in 2012?” Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman asked Dubnik.
“It wasn’t dissolved,” Dubnik said.
Documents obtained through Georgia’s Secretary of State’s office say that Dubnik’s business was dissolved in 2011. 
“At that point in time, we were going through some things – breast cancer – we might not have kept the corporation active,” Dubnik said.
When Stockman asked about the family’s claim that he took money, Dubnik said he was unaware of it, and if their claim is valid, he will repay the money.
When asked why he was participating in what appeared to be a real estate transaction without a license, Dubnik responded: “I didn’t do a real estate transaction. I was doing a business transaction.”
Dubnik said the real estate transaction involved another party.
In October 2012, Dubnik entered in a consent agreement with the Georgia Real Estate Commission to “cease and desist” operating “Northlake Business Brokers” after the commission received reliable evidence he was engaging in the practice of real estate without a license.