Friday, June 21, 2024

Lewisville man arrested in alleged home-buying fraud scheme

Flower Mound police arrested a Lewisville man on Thursday because for years, he allegedly presented false financial information to buy several local homes, knowing he wouldn’t actually go through with the purchases.

A resident on Oak Meadow Drive reported to police that on July 27, Charles Roe, 63, viewed his home for sale and presented a pre-approval letter claiming that Roe and his wife had access to finances to purchase the home for $680,000 cash, according to a Flower Mound Police Department arrest warrant affidavit. The seller accepted the offer, and the deal was supposed to close just a few days later.

Over the next several days, the agreed-upon funds never came, and Roe kept making excuses and blaming the bank, the affidavit says. On Aug. 9, the brokerage firm and title company had a joint meeting to discuss fraud, and some agents mentioned they recently experienced fraudulent deals with a buyer by the name of Charles Roe, an eye-opening revelation for Roe’s real estate agent in the Oak Meadow deal.

“The Roes were using the same tactic of being a cash buyer, providing fictitious bank documentation to entice sellers, failing to deliver earnest money and closing funds, and constantly making excuses to delay closing, only to never close; therefore causing financial harm to the sellers and failing to meet any financial obligation set out in the disclosures,” the affidavit says.

Before the sale closed, Roe submitted an application with the town of Flower Mound on July 31 to set up utilities at the Oak Meadow house. On Aug. 9, Roe submitted an application for termination of service, falsely stating the “seller of home refused to sign closing paperwork, so we are terminating buying the house.”

The FMPD detective on the case reviewed those applications and found another set of identical connection and disconnect applications from Roe for a house on Termaine Drive from October 2022. Then, the detective found a brand new application for a house on Marlow Drive, the affidavit says.

The detective searched the Marlow Drive address online and saw that it was “pending sale.” He contacted the listing agent and learned the Roes were the potential buyers, that their cash offer was accepted and they had signed all the contract paperwork on Aug. 7, while they were still under contract for the Oak Meadow Drive home, according to the affidavit. That violated the Marlow Drive contract, and the listing agent said he would terminate the contract. The detective then met with other agents who had had experiences with Roe and learned that he’d followed the same pattern in at least three fraudulent transactions prior to the Oak Meadow Drive sale.

On the morning of Aug. 10, Roe’s real estate agent called him, and the detective recorded the conversation, according to the affidavit. The agent told Roe that he discovered the Marlow Drive transaction, and Roe denied ever signing disclosures or viewing the home, which was known to be false. The detective then forwarded letters to the bank’s mortgage fraud division, and one of their investigators confirmed that those letters were false, and that the bank does not even have the type of account that Roe was claiming he would use to buy the houses. The bank investigator said the Roes’ accounts did not have nearly as much money as the fake letters claimed.

“The Roes have been identified as fraudulent buyers for seven different homes in the manner listed above since 2020 and it is my belief they never had the intent to follow through with the complete purchases of these residences,” the detective wrote in the affidavit.

There is nothing in the affidavit, however, about why Roe kept doing these things, as they were not gaining anything financially. A FMPD spokesman said Wednesday that he didn’t know what Roe’s ultimate goal was.

Roe was charged with false statement to obtain property for a value more than $300,000, a first-degree felony, and forgery, a state jail felony. He was booked into Denton County Jail on Friday. After detectives interviewed Roe and his wife, they decided to not press charges against Roe’s wife.

Jay Marks of Jay Marks Real Estate said Roe retained his agency back in May 2020.

“He presented us with a proof-of-funds letter from a bank and everything checked out, but then he didn’t deposit the earnest money,” Marks said. “I noticed within 72 hours that he had no intention of actually buying the house, and I didn’t want the seller to suffer with having the house off the market, and we got the contract terminated.”

Marks said he believes Roe has conducted similar fraudulent business with more home sellers and real estate agents than is currently known, and he urged anyone who has dealt with Roe to contact the Flower Mound Police Department if they haven’t already done so.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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