Two brothers, the (now ex) wife of one brother, and a British dude hatch a plan. Playing on their collective entrepreneurial spirit, they'll start a company. They'll market it as a foreclosure rescue service -- you know, to help people. Anyone in danger of foreclosure can call them, then they'll rent the nearly repossessed homes and use that money to pay the mortgage.
They started the business in 2007, but they weren't the real estate knights in shining armor they purported to be, according to a federal complaint by an FBI special agent and a federal prosecutor sourced by The Dallas Morning News.
The business partners -- brothers Julius and Jarrod Williams of McKinney; Jarrod's former wife Jemilat Williams; and Christopher Carter, the token Brit -- did not put the rent money toward making mortgage payments, but instead allegedly pocketed it as profit.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Of course, as you're watching this not-yet-a-movie play out, you're thinking, "The idiots are toast. The banks are going to foreclose on the homes any second!"
Wrong. They already thought of that. Solution: the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act through which certain members of the military can ask banks for relief from foreclosure. Suddenly, with the aid of military documents allegedly forged by Charles Williams, who appears to be another brother, the foreclosures could be stalled. (Charles Williams' attorney told the Morning News that his client denies the charges.)
But what could these businessmen (and woman) do with the real estate they held in limbo? It's not clear how many homes were acquired, but it is quite clear what they did with one of them. According to the indictment, law enforcement agents found more than 1,000 marijuana plants inside the Van Alstyne home on which the Williams and company were pretending to pay the mortgage.
In the movie version of the story, there would be a long, drawn-out escape from law enforcement with weapons, tons of drugs, a Double-Double (Animal Style), and a few unrealistically attractive prostitutes for good measure. In real life, they were indicted by a federal grand jury.