A Houston based group of organized criminals stole estate property and converted real estate of deceased individuals using fraudulent deeds by seeking out elderly people. They used a series of deeds and affidavits of heirship.
“It’s a mess,” said Nick Abaza, an attorney representing one of many victims. “Trying to find out who’s responsible – who’s real and who’s fictitious – has been a challenge. … I think most of the houses are still in limbo. The supposed buyers have bad titles and the heirs, often a distant or absent relative, are either unaware or unable to resolve the problems.”
Valerie Turner, a chief prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s Consumer Protection office, has been flooded with complaints about this scam and similar property theft rings whose members tend to hide crimes behind facades of fake names, fraudulent documents and fictitious companies.