Have I Been Affected By Real Estate Fraud?
There are two types of crime in this world. The first is the type in which you know a crime has been committed against yourself or someone else and you’re not afraid to report it to the proper authorities. The second is the type where you’re not sure if you’ve been victimized and/or you’re too embarrassed to report it to the proper authorities. Unfortunately, real estate and mortgage fraud fall into the second category. All too often, victims of real estate and mortgage fraud-related crimes are under informed and/or too embarrassed by their situation, and for whatever reason they choose not to report the crime.
As regular readers know, a few weeks ago I wrote about Rebecca Hauck’s capture in Texas. Hauck, the alleged co-conspirator of real estate and mortgage fraud poster-child, Matthew Cox, is now in Atlanta, Georgia, where she faces a multitude of real estate-related fraud charges, including conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering and use of stolen identities.
Soon after writing about Hauck’s arrest for my own blog (this blog, that is), I was asked by the good folks over a RealtyTimes.com to write a similar piece for their readership. What has happened since has been both unexpected and enlightening, especially when it comes to the type of crime where people are not sure if they’ve been victimized and/or they’re too embarrassed to report it.
It seems that the Rebecca Hauck arrest–along with my own writings about it–have spurred a number of people to come forward and inquire as to the possibility of they themselves being victims of Hauck and Cox-like transactions. Since I first wrote about Hauck’s arrest, I’ve received a number of inquiries from both consumers and other real estate industry professionals, all of who believe they may be victim s of related estate-related fraud.
Here’s an example of one such inquiry. This is from a fellow real estate professional whose name and some of the case’s specific details have been changed or omitted to protect individual privacy:
I am a real estate industry professional helping someone with forensic work in a divorce case. During the course of my work, I have come across what I believe are several fraudulent, recorded documents and transactions which have seriously harmed my client; some of which involve multiple and expensive real properties which appear to have had the cooperation of notaries and attorneys. In short, they appear to be very similar to the events outlined in your “Bonnie & Clyde” article.
There is really no way to put this delicately, but my client insists, and I am inclined to agree, that it seems that many of the attorneys in that locale are aware that this fraudulent activity is common practice when a person of considerable means has significant assets. There is great reluctance on the attorneys’ parts to expose or stop this activity or it bring to the attention of authorities. My client has been advised it would be “too difficult,” they are “divorce lawyers not real estate experts,” “impossible to prove,” “cause trouble,” “not worth it,” etc.
I’m wondering if you can help review the documentation and advise us? Would it be possible to discuss this matter immediately? Grateful for any assistance you can give.
In her wildest dreams, I bet Rebecca Hauck never imagined that her capture, arrest, and extradition would lead to more people coming forward as potential victims of real estate-related fraud. Image what Matthew Cox’s arrest will do!