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Ways to Challenge Accusations of Texas Real Estate Fraud

Accusations of Texas real estate fraud can be very serious and carry potentially severe sentences. However, it’s important to remember that being accused of a crime does not equate to being guilty of a crime.

You may find yourself facing accusations of Texas real estate fraud. You may also fall prey to another person’s real estate fraud.

If you are charged with real estate fraud, there are several strategies you may use to challenge these allegations and protect your rights. This blog post explores real estate fraud and some effective ways to fight such charges.

Examples of Real Estate Fraud in TX

So, what kinds of charges count as real estate fraud? Some major types include:
  • Rental Scams. The perpetrator may claim to be renting a property they do not own, listing it on websites like Craigslist with screenshots of other listings or actual pictures of a house in their area. You pay a deposit and show up on move-in day to find a locked door and no keys – or people already living in the house, confused about why you’re there. This type of fraud preys on people who cannot check rental properties in person before they move somewhere.
  • Foreclose Scams. In this situation, the perpetrator promises to help prevent a person’s foreclosure – for a fee. As you may predict, the perpetrator does not have any extraordinary power or skill to offer in this regard, and the home foreclosure proceeds.
  • Homebuying Cashier’s Check Scams. A homeowner agrees to receive a cashier’s check with an online buyer for their property. The check that they receive is more than what’s owed, so the homeowner sends back the overage. Later, they discover that the cashier’s check. They received a fake; the perpetrator has received an actual payment, and the homeowner has a check they can’t cash.
  • Mortgage Fraud. When you apply for a mortgage, the bank undergoes intense vetting to approve your home loan. If a person misrepresents their assets in order to obtain a home loan, they can be charged in State or Federal Court with mortgage fraud.

Seek Legal Counsel Immediately

When facing accusations of real estate fraud, the first and most crucial step is to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney specializing in white-collar crimes and real estate fraud will understand the complexities of the legal system and can guide you through the process.

If you are charged with real estate fraud, you could face the following charges and penalties:

  • If the fraudulently obtained property or service is valued between $150,000 and $300,000, it is a second-degree felony, which can result in a prison sentence of 2 to 20 years.
  • If the value of the fraudulently obtained property or service falls between $30,000-150,000, it is a 3rd-degree felony, which can result in a prison sentence of 2-10 years.
  • If the fraudulently obtained property or service is worth more than $300,000, it is a first-degree felony, which can result in a prison sentence of 5-99 years or life.

Understand the Accusations

Carefully review the specific accusations against you. Understand the details of the alleged fraudulent activity, the evidence presented, and the legal elements required to prove the crime. This knowledge will help you and your attorney build a strong defense strategy.

Gather Evidence

Your attorney will likely instruct you to collect all relevant documentation to support your defense. This could include contracts, correspondence, financial records, and other evidence contradicting the accusations. Your attorney will assess the evidence and determine its relevance to your defense.

Challenge the Evidence of Fraud

Your attorney will carefully scrutinize the prosecution’s evidence to identify weaknesses, inconsistencies, or discrepancies. Challenging the evidence is critical to building a solid defense.

Lack of Intent

Fraud typically requires criminal intent, meaning you knowingly engaged in deceptive behavior to achieve a fraudulent outcome. If you could demonstrate that you had no intention to commit fraud and that any misrepresentation was unintentional, it could weaken the prosecution’s case.

Potential Defense

Presenting an alibi or evidence that establishes you were not involved in the fraudulent activity can be a powerful defense strategy. Witness testimony, video footage, cell phone tracking, or other records that place you elsewhere during the alleged fraudulent transactions can support your defense.

Mistaken Identity

If you were wrongly identified as the perpetrator of fraud, your attorney can present evidence that establishes your whereabouts or involvement in unrelated activities during the time of the alleged fraud. Your attorney can also challenge the legality of the identification procedure employed.

Challenge Witnesses

If the prosecution relies on witness testimony, your attorney should attack the credibility of these witnesses. This could involve revealing biases, contradictions in their statements, or ulterior motives for their testimony.

Fourth and Fifth Amendment Rights

Your attorney should ensure that your Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures and your Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination are protected throughout the legal process.

Prepare for Trial in TX

 If you choose to fight the charges in court, your attorney should meticulously prepare for trial. The key to victory in any case is always thorough preparation.

Accusations of Texas real estate fraud are severe and can have far-reaching consequences for your personal and professional life. However, challenging these accusations is possible with the right legal approach. Engaging the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney who specializes in white-collar crimes is crucial.

They will work diligently to investigate the evidence, build a strong defense, and protect your rights throughout the legal process.

Houston Real Estate Fraud Defense Lawyer

Remember, you are presumed innocent. An excellent criminal defense lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case. If possible, your lawyer may obtain the dismissal of your charges. If the state will not dismiss, your lawyer should work hard to prepare for trial.

The goal when facing any criminal charge must always be victory.

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