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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How Easily Title Fraud Occurs

EVERYTHING is stored online in the cloud - including your home's title

1

Domestic and international thieves scour online records for homes with equity. It could be the home you live in, your vacation home, a home of an elderly relative, or rental property you own.


2

Once they change your home's ownership from YOU to THEM, they re-file the Quitclaim Deed for your home with the proper authorities so it appears your home has been legally sold.


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They take out personal loans through banks and online lenders using all your home's equity. You likely won't know you're a victim until you start receiving late payments or foreclosure notices.

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ACCORDING TO THE FBI:
Title and Mortgage Fraud are the fastest growing white collar crimes in America.

Everything is stored online these days - including your home's title. Domestic and international cyber-thieves target U.S. homeowners equity in their homes. Removing you from your home's title takes just minutes. Then they forge their name on the title document and refile it. Next, they take out loans using your home's equity and stick you with the payments. You likely won't know until you get a late payment or foreclosure notice from several banks.

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