Phoenix man pleads guilty in real estate scam, claimed title of Phoenix-area homes

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A Phoenix man has plead guilty to fraud and money laundering in a real estate scam that involved claiming title to Valley residents' homes.

Daniel Barraza Nevarez filed quitclaim deeds illegally transferring ownership in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and Phoenix homes between November 2017 and February 2018, according to the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

He then used the homes to try to take out home equity loans.

Nevarez used a fake identity for the scam, but an undercover operation handled by the state prosecutor and the Scottsdale Police Department discovered the fraud.

Nevarez illegally transferred almost $3.5 million in property deeds.

The plea deal requires Nevarez to pay $21,708 in restitution for legal fees for the victims. He will also serve at least eight months in a Maricopa County jail.

In September, Jon Richard Rattray of Gilbert was indicted for fraud, money laundering, identity theft and forgery, according to the state Attorney General. He's suspected of taking out multiple mortgages on metro Phoenix homes to tap their equity and then filing documents to hide the loans.

Nevarez is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 8 in Maricopa County Superior Court.

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