by Victor Lopez
MIDLAND--Their primary target, low income families, in need of a home.
Investigators say the group pretended to be a legitimate business that sold and rebuilt mobile homes. It turns out, they were just looking to make a fast buck, with no intentions of holding up their end of the deal.
They were calling themselves Sun Valley Affordable Homes. But investigators say they weren't even licensed and all they were selling is a big pack of lies.
We're told the scam worked something like this. The group lured their victims into buying mobile homes, telling them they would be completely renovated by the time the deal was closed and the homes were delivered.
When that didn't happen, the buyers, who were never given titles, were told there were no warranties and weren't given their money back. Police say the group intimidated and threatened their customers to get money from them after their bogus business was discovered.
According to investigators, the homes were worthless and unlivable to begin with and they gave NewsWest 9 pictures to back it up.
On Friday afternoon, one of the three alleged ring leaders, 62-year-old Larry Spence, was arrested by Midland County Sheriff's Deputies. This is not his first run in with the law. He was also arrested on other charges back in February. Now, he's been charged with felony theft.
Spence and his suspected partners, 69-year-old Charles Sprayberry and 43-year-old Charles Gilmore, are accused of fraudulent sale of manufactured homes.
Sprayberry, who was a victim in an aggravated assault earlier this week, will be taken into custody when he recovers from his injuries.
Charles Gilmore is still at large.
You may remember, NewsWest 9 reported on Wednesday that Sprayberry had been found covered in blood, next to his SUV on Austin and Cuthbert in Midland.
Police say they don't know if the assault is related to the scam and is being investigated separately.