The Man Who Filled Montrose With Foreclosure Signs Is Convicted
What's it coming to these days when you can't even go in and buy an Aston-Martin without getting busted for fraud?
Especially after you've done so much to ensure that Montrose is full of foreclosed-upon townhomes?
These are the questions Craig Curtis, 36, is no doubt asking himself after his conviction today on charges of ID theft in connection with a mortgage-fraud scheme.
The US Attorney's Office says Curtis was first noticed by authorities when he tried to buy an Aston-Martin (that's James Bond's old car) using someone else's Social Security number.
Subsequent investigation showed that Curtis was going on a fraud spree in Montrose:
Bank records then revealed that during 2006 and the first half of 2007 Curtis was obtaining large third-party disbursements from the sales of numerous townhomes located near the intersection of Westheimer and Montrose. At trial, the evidence showed Curtis paid straw buyers to purchase townhomes at prices that were hundreds of thousands of dollars above the market price of the properties.
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"Most of the townhomes went into foreclosure within a year of the sales," the US Attorney's office says.
Curtis raked in millions, feds say; he now faces up to 20 years on each of several wire-fraud charges.
-- Richard Connelly