An El Paso home buyer is accused of running a wraparound mortgage scam that defrauded 16 victims, including several members of the military, police said.
Victor Bernard Dennis, 43, was arrested earlier this month by detectives with the El Paso police White Collar Crimes Unit, police officials said.
Dennis is accused in a scam running from 2014 to 2016 involving the buying and selling of houses advertised on street-corner signs, police said.
Dennis advertised the buying and selling of homes on cardboard signs posted on street corners and medians throughout the city, police said in a news release.
“Dennis negotiated fraudulent sales of homes from desperate sellers, often deploying soldiers, then ‘sold’ the properties to unknowing buyers, unaware mortgages existed on the homes,” police stated.
Police said that Dennis would offer financing to buyers with little or no credit.
Detectives alleged that Dennis would pay the home mortgages for a short period then default, causing the houses to go into foreclosure and ending in the buyers’ eviction.
Court records show that Dennis was indicted last December following a financial crimes investigation that began in 2017. A warrant was issued in January and he was arrested on March 9.
Dennis was booked into the El Paso County Jail on two counts of theft of property over $200,000, according to a jail log.
Dennis was released March 12 on a $100,000 surety bond, a jail records stated.
A jury trial is scheduled for September in 210th District Court. Dennis’ lawyer could not be immediately reached in a telephone call for comment.
Anyone who may have been a victim in a wraparound mortgage scam may call financial crimes detectives at 915-212-4000.
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