Longform

Like the housing industry, real estate “guru” Mark Bosworth is in crash mode

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Bosworth says "no" — the transaction listed was, indeed, for his company.

However, on the list of investors Bosworth's former employee provided, Alan Davis is shown having invested exactly $156,492 in a Scottsdale office building called "Bell 101." The employee tells New Times that the deal closed on June 6, a fact that Greg Dawson confirmed in a later interview.

The list shows Alan Davis also invested $100,000 in another office building; the former employee says that deal closed on June 20, the same day as the second supposed deposit of $100,000 for Bosworth's company.

It's a stunning coincidence.

And it raises the question of whether the sale agreement of Home America/GoRenter between Davis and Bosworth may have been backdated to well before the Magelsen verdict and subsequent bankruptcy filing.

Arizona Corporation Commission records show no official change in the ownership of GoRenter until April 2008, though the records do make it look as if, at least on paper, Bosworth no longer runs his company.

Davis didn't return repeated calls seeking comment on the investments. Dawson did, though. He claimed Davis told him that the money invested on June 6 in the office building must have been soon diverted to the sale of Bosworth's company, but he wasn't sure how that happened.

Bosworth writes cryptically in a later e-mail, "I do not believe Alan Davis or Berne Fleming has ever paid me personally on any of the businesses."

One thing is for sure: Mark Bosworth did not list any income from the sale of his company on his bankruptcy petition.

But perhaps he should have.

GoRenter.com gave New Times a copy of a fourth document, dated January 1, 2008, and titled "Transfer of Membership Interest." It states that Mark Bosworth "acknowledges receipt of $331,492 from about June through August 2006" for the alleged sale, and it's signed by Bosworth, Davis, Fleming, and Dawson.

Even if the sale was genuine, it seems impossible to fully separate GoRenter — formerly Home America, formerly Property Masters — from Mark Bosworth.

His parents work there. His brother-in-law, Alan Davis, and Davis' cousin, Fleming, are the managers.

New Times asks Dan Manley, GoRenter's broker, whether he also has family ties to Bosworth.

"I'm not related in any way," Manley says.

But, in fact, Manley is the father of Steve Manley, another GoRenter employee. And Steve Manley is married to one of Bosworth's daughters, Alisha.

Not only that, Bosworth brags to New Times that he's "being paid very well to be retired" by the "new" owners, because their purchase of the company is being paid out over time. It's as if he continues to collect a paycheck from a real estate company, yet the state has prohibited him from working in real estate.

The managers at GoRenter can try to distance themselves from their founder. But, by all appearances, the buck still stops with Mark Bosworth.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.