The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is investigating fraud allegations against Haydee Jerez Verdugo, a Palm Desert real estate agent, according to news reports.
Several former clients have said that Verdugo sold them all the same vacant lot in North Palm Springs, and have filed legal complaints charging that she took thousands of dollars from them, The Desert Sun newspaper reported.
Sheriff’s deputies in March searched Verdugo’s former business and residential addresses, the newspaper reported.
And lawyers for dozens of Verdugo’s former clients said this week that Verdugo failed to file paperwork in time to meet a court deadline in a civil case filed against her.
One lawyer is representing 21 people who Verdugo allegedly led to believe were all purchasing the same piece of property, and another lawyer is representing 18 others who say they also lost money to Verdugo, according to an online report by news station KESQ.
The civil lawsuit was filed in February at Riverside County Superior Court in Indio. No criminal charges have yet been filed against Verdugo, according to the reports.
Verdugo received a real estate license in California in May 1997, according to the state Department of Real Estate, and has no disciplinary actions on her record. Her business address is listed at 44100 Monterey Ave., Suite 216T, in Palm Desert.