Archives For Texas

The Cameron County, Texas District Attorney’s Office dismantled a county-wide real estate scheme that defrauded its victims out of more than $400,000 from 2013 through 2015.  Dubbed “Operation Surreal Estate”, the investigation began in July 2015 when victims contacted the District Attorney’s Office for help.

The several-month-long investigation uncovered a crime ring, led by Allan Ramirez Rodriguez, 27, Brownsville, Texas, who convinced real estate buyers to invest in and/or purchase properties. False deeds were provided to the investors for properties Rodriguez and his accomplices never owned. Organizers of the scheme even attended public real estate auctions to provide an appearance of legitimacy.  Rodriguez was charged with three counts of theft of property, three counts of engaging in organized criminal activity and securing execution of a document by deception.  Rodriguez has not been taken into custody.

In addition to Rodriguez, those involved in the organized criminal activity were: Continue Reading…

“You can have whole neighborhoods that are economic wipeouts. Who did it really help? The builder. He got his sale.”

Richard Hagar, national expert on mortgage fraud, explaining the effect of builder bailouts to The Dallas Morning News

Laurie Mayfield, aka Laurie H. Scott, 54, Fredericksburg, Texas, former D’Hanis State Bank president, admitted that she filed fraudulent bank regulating reports which overestimated the bank’s assets.

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Five defendants have been sentenced for their roles in a mortgage fraud conspiracy perpetrated in the Eastern District of Texas involving illegal property flipping, falsification of documents, including HUD-1 Settlement Statements, down payment fraud, and loan application misrepresentations.

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Andre Lamont Chenier, 41, Houston, Texas, has been arrested on allegations he engaged in an eight-year bank fraud, identity theft and money laundering scheme. Chenier allegedly submitted a personal financial statement that listed fictitious assets as well as tax returns that contained the Social Security number of someone else.

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Five defendants have been sentenced for their roles in a mortgage fraud conspiracy involving down payment fraud in the Eastern District of Texas.

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Kirk Smith, Harris County, Texas, has been ordered to prison following his conviction for defrauding seven different Houston, Texas-area banks of more than $2 million in 2007 and 2008 with a check kiting scheme, which allowed him to use inflated account balances to qualify for loans and lines of credit. Continue Reading…

Maria Eliza Garza, Houston, Texas, has been ordered to prison following her conviction in conspiring to defraud seven different Houston-area banks or more than $2 million in 2007 and 2008.

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Three former Permian Basin business owners and a title company executive were sentenced for their roles in a mortgage fraud scheme that involved approximately 800 real estate properties and about $45 million in loans.

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Yvonne Gumaer, 68, Galveston, Texas, has been sentenced to federal prison for federal violations related to a mortgage fraud scheme wherein she and her conspirators made false statements in connection with an FHA insured home loan.

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