Mortgage Scheme Hits People In the Permian Basin - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Mortgage Scheme Hits People In the Permian Basin

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by Brian Wise
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND/ODESSA - Federal authorities have charged four business owners in Midland/Odessa with fraud.

On Friday, a possible victim of the property scheme came forward. On Thursday, the Department of Justice sent out a press release charging four Midland/Odessa business owners for a property fraud scheme. The victim, did not want to be named, but says she is scared her family will lose the property because they bought it from Hilliard, one of the companies mentioned.

"They told me, well you need to go talk to the FBI in Midland. So we talked to them and he said there is nothing we can do. For us to get a lawyer because he can not talk about the case and the charges," the victim said.

According to the Department of Justice, the four business owners were involved in a property flip scheme from 2003 to 2011. They would sell properties for a much higher price than they were worth. The banks would pay the faulty price in mortgage loans. Now, $27 million is being sought against the defendants.

Tyler Patton, with the Permian Basin Better Business Bureau, offered to be a resource of information for anyone who might fall into a mortgage scheme.

"Shop around. If you can't get the information from your realtor, another thing you can do quite frankly is go online to local real estate sites and see what homes in the area are being listed for. Do the same thing, do the calculation yourself," Patton said.

The Department of Justice said the case was too new and could not be talked about in a camera interview. Patton says it will be hard to tell exactly how many people fell victim to the mortgage scheme.