Arizona AG Bags Real Estate Operator For Allegedly Running Contract For Deed Scam That Targeted Dozens Of Unsophisticated Homebuyers; Defendant Pocketed Victims' Deposits & Monthly Payments While Failing To Disclose Or Pay Off Existing Liens, Allowing Homes To Go Into Foreclosure
- The Arizona Attorney General's Office announced Tuesday [March 7] the owner of several real estate companies had been indicted by a grand jury for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from several dozen Arizona families.
In a news release, state prosecutors say Francisco Aguirre is accused of stealing between $300,000 and $500,000 from 40 families between 2013 and 2015. Officials say he owned three companies, Montecristo Properties, LLC, Montecristo Property Investments and San Marino Property Investments, LLC and used them to steal from families looking to buy homes.
Aguirre is accused of making false statements and material omissions to families who believed they were buying homes from him and gave him a down payment. The victims also paid Aguirre monthly for mortgage payments, only to find out they never owned nor had a title to the home.
Silvia Gallo told ABC 15 that she has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in connection with the case. "It's not just a financial issue, it's an emotional issue, a physical issue," Gallo said.
Gallo has lost hair and taken medication as a result of the stress of losing so much money, she said. She has had to pay for several homes, purchased as investment properties, twice, she said. Catching up has meant 16-hour days, she said.
The victims found out about Aguirre's scheme when his company defaulted on the loans to the properties, resulting in foreclosure notices to those who thought their monthly payments had been going through, ABC15 previously reported.
Aguirre faces felony charges of conspiracy, mortgage fraud, money laundering and illegally conducting an enterprise, among others.
For the indictment, see State of Arizona v. Aguirre. land contract for deed rent-to-own rent skimming wraparound mortgage